APL Land Transport Services (APL) is to make the Santa Fe Railway one of its underlying carriers to meet the long-term volume growth of its domestic and international customers. According to Mr Dan Pendleton, vice-president of stack-train operations, the decision, which reflected the company's desire to develop working relationship with all major US railroads, would offer two main benefits from broadening the carrier base. ''APL will ensure adequate stack-train capacity so we can meet the long-term volume growth of our domestic and international customers on key corridors,'' he said. ''Also, access to multiple service offerings can mean additional scheduling and logistical flexibility.'' Santa Fe's train operations for APL, which started on December 13, provide carriage for one of the seven weekly stack-trains the company offers - in both directions - between Los Angeles and the Midwest. Mr Pendleton said Union Pacific, with which APL has a strong relationship, remained the principal carrier for APL in that corridor. APL, which operates over 18,000 domestic containers and chassis, is the largest single stack-train operator, with a network providing direct service to 100 major North American markets that are connected - through agreements with underlying rail carriers- by more than 32,000 kilometres to track. The major railroads with which APL maintains service agreements are the UP, Chicago and North Western, Conrail, Southern Pacific, Norfolk Southern, Canadian National, Ferrocarries Nacionales de Mexico, and now the Santa Fe. ''Santa Fe will provide APL with a high degree of service reliability,'' said Mr Jack Fields, Santa Fe's assistant vice-president for intermodal sales and service. ''We look forward to working together.''