The Brookhaven Rail Terminal has been experiencing a boom in demand for certain commodities that reflect a recent trend — Long Islanders investing in their homes as they spend more time in their residences.
Andrew Kaufman, president of the intermodal rail facility, says they have been experiencing “off-the-charts” growth in the transportation of two types of cargo in particular: flour and plywood.
“It shouldn’t come as a surprise that plywood, framing lumber, cement, and roofing shingles were among the most significant construction materials brought in by train during 2020,” Kaufman said. “These items were directly related to the exponential increase in home improvement projects initiated by Long Islanders who wanted to improve, expand, or renovate their dwellings.”
The Brookhaven Rail Terminal handles more than 300,000 tons of various products destined for a wide range of regional companies each year, eliminating the need for an estimated 14,000 long-haul truck trips on local roads annually.
The rail terminal also handles flour destined for local bakeries and retail outlets throughout Suffolk and Nassau counties.
“From pizza to whole wheat loaves of bread, the first stop for much of the flour now consumed on Long Island is the BRT rail yard,” Kaufman said, noting that the demand for comfort food has soared during the pandemic.
Other building supplies found at the rail yard and warehouse include pressure-treated wood, structural steel, rebar and more, significantly reducing the wait time for material to reach retailers and consumers.