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Historic Winter Weather Disrupts Intermodal and Highway Service

The country continues to be impacted by unprecedented winter weather events plaguing numerous states including Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. Due to the scale and duration of these events, J.B. Hunt expects a massive and extended interruption to the nation’s supply chain. Capacity will also be impacted as drivers tend to their families and homes. Based on this disruption, J.B. Hunt anticipates the entire supply chain will become very fluid.

Intermodal Update

While J.B. Hunt’s dray fleets in Denver, CO; Indianapolis, IN; Cleveland, OH; Harrisburg, PA; Albany, NY; and Ayer, MA have resumed full operations, the following fleets are either shutdown or operating at reduced capacity: Portland, OR; Spokane, WA; Dallas, TX; Houston, TX; Kansas City, MO; St. Louis, MO; Memphis, TN; Chicago, IL; Toledo, OH; North Baltimore, OH; Columbus, OH; Cincinnati, OH; and Buffalo, NY. With additional snowfall and extreme temperatures expected to persist in many of these locations throughout the week, the intermodal network recovery could extend through at least Sunday, February 28.

As ramp congestion and rail car shortages worsen with this week’s historic winter weather, BNSF and NS have announced new gate restrictions effective immediately. BNSF has implemented new gate restrictions on Standard service level shipments from Los Angeles, CA to all destinations; Barstow, CA to all destinations; Stockton, CA to Chicago/Corwith, IL; Phoenix, AZ to Chicago/Corwith, IL; and Atlanta/Fairburn, GA to all destinations. Additionally, BNSF has implemented a new gate restriction on Expedited service level shipments from Stockton, CA to Chicago/Willow Springs, IL. NS has closed the gates for all shipments at Columbus, OH; Cincinnati, OH; and Norfolk, VA to Chicago/Landers, IL. NS has also closed the gates for all shipments destined to the following KCS/KCSM destinations: Dallas/Wylie, TX; Laredo, TX; Salinas Victoria, NL; Interpuerto/San Luis Potosi, SL; and Puerta Mexico/Toluca, EM.

Below is a summary of all restrictions currently impacting J.B. Hunt and its customers. These restrictions are expected to severely limit J.B. Hunt’s ability to pick up shipments through at least Monday, February 22. Therefore, customers shipping in the lanes below are strongly encouraged to take advantage of available J.B. Hunt intermodal and highway reroute options.

  • All Standard traffic will be impacted in these lanes including rubber tire crosstowns and excluding steel wheel interchanges:
    • BNSF Chicago/Cicero, IL to all destinations
    • BNSF Chicago/Corwith, IL to all destinations
    • BNSF Los Angeles, CA to all destinations
    • BNSF San Bernardino, CA to all destinations
    • BNSF Barstow, CA to all destinations
    • BNSF Stockton, CA to Chicago/Corwith, IL
    • BNSF Phoenix, AZ to Chicago/Corwith, IL
    • BNSF Atlanta/Fairburn, GA to all destinations
    • NS Chicago 47th Street to all destinations
    • All NS origin points to NS Chicago 47th Street; 63rd Street; Calumet; and Landers
    • All NS origin points to NS Kansas City, MO
    • All NS origin points to NS Memphis/Rossville, TN
    • All NS origin points to the following KCS/KCSM destinations: Dallas/Wylie, TX; Laredo, TX; Salinas Victoria, NL; San Luis Potosi, SL, and Toluca, EM
    • CSX North Bergen, NJ to CSX Indianapolis, IN
    • All CSX origin points to CSX Chicago Bedford Park and 59th Street
  • All Expedited traffic will be impacted in these lanes including rubber tire crosstowns and excluding steel wheel interchanges:
    • BNSF Stockton, CA (ER) to Chicago/Willow Springs, IL

To expedite the recovery, J.B. Hunt continues to develop new steel wheel services with its rail providers that bypass the Chicago ramps. Over the past week, new steel wheel services have been launched to/from BNSF San Bernardino, CA and select NS points in the Northeast as well as to/from BNSF Stockton, CA and select NS points in the Northeast. In addition, J.B. Hunt is repositioning drivers to Chicago to increase dray capacity. With the current winter weather challenges, velocity slowdown, and gate restrictions, container availability will be impacted throughout the country. J.B. Hunt can provide alternate highway solutions to mitigate these intermodal disruptions. A representative will communicate load specific delays along with alternative rail and highway routing options.

Highway Update

As Winter Storm Viola travels through the country, J.B. Hunt anticipates more disruption across the transportation network in the coming days. Drivers are currently shut down across parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Customers should expect a delay in shipments traveling through these regions due to the snow, ice, and sub-zero temperatures.

J.B. Hunt will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available. Customer service is essential to J.B. Hunt, and we apologize for the inconvenience these service interruptions have caused.