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CSX, Wayne Farms awarded prestigious 2017 Argus Win-Win Award

On May 24, 2017, Argus Media awarded CSX and Wayne Farm Foods the prestigious 2017 Win-Win Award demonstrating best-practices between carriers and shippers to drive improved service and efficiency. The award was presented at the North American Rail Shippers Association conference in San Francisco.  >> View the Press Release to learn more about the recognition.


Working together to deliver delicious and nutritious chicken from rail to table

Many of America’s favorite restaurants including Chick-fil-A, Zaxby’s and Outback turn to Wayne Farms for exceptional quality product to feed America’s growing hunger for chicken. Wayne Farms, the sixth largest, vertically integrated poultry producer in the U.S., owns and operates 11 fresh and further-processed facilities throughout the Southeast and produces more than 2.6 billion pounds of poultry product each year. Over a two-year period, Wayne Farms worked closely with CSX Transportation’s (CSXT) Agriculture and Food, Operations and Industrial Development teams to develop and execute a win-win infrastructure project to meet rising production needs and consolidate the work of multiple antiquated facilities.


The Wayne Farms facility in Ozark, Alabama is served through the Grain Express program, which provides express loading/unloading of 90-car unit trains. 


Partnership lays foundation for new facility

In February 2017, Wayne Farms unveiled a $55M, state-of-the art feed mill in Ozark, Alabama. The new mill sits on 165 acres and is connected to the CSX rail network by a newly constructed 1.4-mile track loop. The facility participates in the CSXT Grain Express Program, utilizing express unloading to process the 90-car unit train, that delivers corn and other feed ingredients to the facility, in 12 hours – 3 hours faster than the 15-hour projected goal. The Ozark mill replaces three aging facilities, centralizing feed production and generating increased operational efficiencies, improving freight visibility and tracking, delivering bottom-line savings and increasing output.


Faster service, increased efficiency, better asset utilization

In addition to faster processing through the use of express unloading, the facility allows Wayne Farms to better utilize assets by tapping into previously unused capacity. The three older mills were specialized – each facility was only able to produce certain types of feed resulting in the company not being able to fully utilize its assets as demand for different types of feed shifted. The new facility will be able to run multiple feed blends, switching between formula types at a single mill, allowing the customer to achieve higher utilization and output.  The Ozark facility also creates a higher-quality feed pellet than the mills it replaced, ensuring that more nutrients are absorbed by the chicken during feedings.

Prior to the Ozark mill coming online, two of the three previous mills were served by a combination of CSXT and short-line partners. Wayne Farms was able to track the status of shipments across the CSXT-controlled portion of the move, but lost visibility once it transitioned onto the short line. The new facility sits on the CSXT network, allowing full visibility from origin to destination through the ShipCSX suite of e-business tools.

The Ozark facility is a key component of Wayne Farms expansion efforts. The new mill supports the company’s Dothan, AL processing plant, which has doubled production from 600,000 to over 1.3M birds per week. Additional output increases are projected in 2018 due to similar expansion at the Enterprise, AL processing facility, also supported by the Ozark mill. To meet these increases in production, the Wayne Farm’s Ozark mill is forecasted to process 7,000 rail cars a year. Wayne Farms is projecting a realized savings of over $5M annually attributed to the centralized facility.  


A win-win for Wayne Farms and CSX

The Ozark feed mill is a win-win for both customer and service provider as CSXT benefits from increased efficiencies and better asset utilization. Under the previous system, the turn around time from interchange to interchange was 24 hours; the updated facility and expedited processing will cut this time in half. The new processes equip Wayne Farms to utilize express loading at the origin and unloading at the destination, allowing trains to turn faster and more efficiently, reducing the number of assets used from multiple sets of unit trains to one or two.

Together, Wayne Farms and CSX Transportation are streamlining the poultry supply chain to unlock increased output and deliver delicious and nutritious chicken from rail to table.


Interested in learning more about the Wayne Farms Ozark facility? Go behind the scenes in a recent
World-Grain.com feature.

Learn more about the CSX and Wayne Farms partnership.  >> View the Argus Press Release to learn about the 2017 Win-Win award recognition.