Trucking Giant Says New Rail Deal Will Soon Grow Intermodal Fleet to 150,000 Containers
Lowell, AR — J.B. Hunt says a new partnership with BNSF will grow its intermodal fleet to as many as 150,000 containers in the next few years.
On Wednesday, the trucking giant announced a joint initiative with BNSF which both companies expect to result in increased capability at multiple intermodal facilities.
As part of the initiative, BNSF is providing J.B. Hunt with several property locations around key intermodal hubs in Southern California, Chicago, and other key markets with the goal of increasing efficiency at terminals.
According to a release, BNSF will also bolster its railcar equipment to accommodate the anticipated increase in container capacity.
As for J.B. Hunt, the Lowell, AR-based mega carrier expects the deal to increase its intermodal fleet by 40% within the next three to five years.
“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.”
Based on analysis of from the carrier’s digital freight platform J.B. Hunt 360, as well as transactions and annual bid activity, the company estimates that an additional 7 to 11 million shipments could be converted to intermodal.
J.B. Hunt currently operates the largest company-owned intermodal fleet in North America with more than 109,000 53’ containers supported by company-owned chassis and tractors.
BNSF operates the largest intermodal rail network handling roughly one million more intermodal units each year than any other railroad boasting the fastest intermodal route between Southern California and the Midwest.