A new safe, cost-effective and environmentally friendly intermodal service between Laredo, Texas, and Memphis, Tennessee, has been opened by Union Pacific Railroad.

Intended to support the increasing transportation requirements for automotive manufacturing and intermodal sectors, the new Laredo-Memphis rail service will connect manufacturers in Mexico with retail storefronts and distribution centres located in the southeastern US.

Union Pacific intermodal vice-president John Kaiser said: "The intermodal service between Laredo and Memphis is a great addition to the unparalleled Mexico market access Union Pacific offers its intermodal customers.

"This service allows our customers to convert truck shipments to rail with minimal impact."

"This new offering combines the industry’s fastest intermodal service with container programs that serve all major US and Canadian markets, providing customers with unmatched service and capacity."

The service brings together multiple transportation modes to ship consumer products produced in Mexico.

Manufacturers are currently focusing on establishing their production and auto parts distribution centres at locations where consumption or buying is more likely to take place at a faster pace.

Union Pacific automotive vice-president Linda Brandl said: "With a truck-competitive transit time, this service allows our automotive manufacturing customers to convert truck shipments to rail with minimal impact to their on-hand inventory of auto parts and the customised racks required to ship them."

The company’s intermodal franchise currently serves as the only railroad to all six Mexico gateways, including Laredo, Eagle Pass, El Paso and Brownsville in Texas; Calexico, California; and Nogales, Arizona, US.