In an effort to boost their intermodal capacity during lingering supply chain backups at ports and logistics hubs, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. and BNSF Railway Co. are jointly expanding their infrastructure through growth of containers, real estate, railcars, and chassis.
On the trucking side of the equation, J.B. Hunt plans to grow its intermodal fleet to as many as 150,000 containers in the next three to five years, a greater than 40% increase from its count at the end of 2021. In addition to growing its container count, the Lowell, Arkansas-based firm also will add supporting chassis based on market need.
And on the rail side of the joint initiative, BNSF will increase its capability at multiple intermodal facilities by providing several property locations around key intermodal hubs in Southern California, Chicago, and other markets. Additionally, Fort Worth, Texas-based BNSF will bolster its railcar equipment to accommodate the anticipated increase in container capacity
According to J.B. Hunt, the move is a response to significant growth in demand for intermodal services in recent years as companies look to secure capacity while reducing costs and carbon footprints.
“Over the past few years, intermodal has been disrupted by increased demand and tight capacity, resulting in poor container velocity and long dwell times,” said John Roberts, president and CEO of J.B. Hunt. “Together, J.B. Hunt and BNSF will enhance their work to bring back the consistency and reliability customers expect with intermodal services and further embrace intermodal conversion and transloading services. This priority falls directly in line with J.B. Hunt’s mission statement to create the most efficient transportation network in North America.”
The companies will also use technology to improve efficiencies in rail transport by applying the J.B. Hunt 360° digital freight matching platform to support intermodal services. According to the partners,m that approach could convert some 7 to 11 million shipments from highway to intermodal, supporting long-term growth opportunities while avoiding carbon emissions.
We’re planning to grow our #Intermodal fleet up to 150,000 containers over the next 3 to 5 years! This growth, combined with the #Technology of the J.B. Hunt 360 platform, will give customers more capacity and an efficient way to move #Freight. Read more: https://t.co/NhgNGprH9e. pic.twitter.com/eNAidHR2wV— J.B. Hunt 360 (@jbhunt360) March 16, 2022
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. and BNSF Railway announced a joint effort to substantially improve capacity for intermodal freight transport in the U.S. supply chain. https://t.co/0jPRNmyNFI#freight #logistics #intermodal pic.twitter.com/C1HsaGhOph— BNSF Railway (@BNSFRailway) March 16, 2022