Pittsburgh PA-area companies that ship containerized cargo will soon be able to use a new cost-effective, river-based transportation alternative. CSG Co LLC, an industrial supply chain service provider, and the Port of Pittsburgh Commission (PPC) have announced the start.
Buddy Johns, president of CSG, announced that the Container-on-Barge (COB) service to the Port District will start May 2, 2005.
COB loads are measured in TEUs, or 20-foot equivalent units, the capacity of a standard container that people now see moving on the highway or railway. About 60-70 of these containers can fit on a barge.
CSG has activated the region's only Third-Party Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) for its Leetsdale Terminal. Established by the federal government in the 1930s, FTZs are areas within the United States that the government considers outside the country, or at minimum, outside US customers territory. For shippers, the advantages of an FTZ are primarily financial:
No duty is paid to the US government until the merchandise leaves the FTZ and enters US commerce.
When products are manufactured in the FTZ from imported materials, duties are paid only on the amount of material used in the finished product, rather than the total amount, including scrap.
Availability of COB service will open the way for the Pittsburgh District to serve as a major distribution hub and will make the riverfront property more attractive for warehousing and light manufacturing.