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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 interruption that will have a ripple effect on the nation’s supply chain for weeks. 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 as transportation networks rebalance.

Intermodal Update

Although J.B. Hunt’s dray fleets in Texas and the Northeast have resumed operations, the Memphis, TN fleet remains shut down for the fifth consecutive day. Dray fleets currently shutdown or operating at reduced capacity due to winter weather include Dallas, TX; Houston, TX; Memphis, TN; Harrisburg, PA; Bethlehem, PA; Morrisville, PA; Jersey City, NJ; and Albany, NY. With improving conditions, NS has lifted the gate restriction from Atlanta/Austell, GA to Kansas City, MO. In addition, CSX has lifted the gate restriction from North Bergen, NJ to Indianapolis, IN. J.B. Hunt will resume pick up operations in these lanes immediately. Unfortunately, rail ramp congestion in Chicago is not improving. As a result, BNSF and NS have announced new gate restrictions effective immediately. BNSF is restricting Expedited service level shipments from Chicago/Willow Springs, IL to all destinations. NS is restricting shipments from Chicago/Calumet, IL to all destinations.

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. However, with the ongoing winter weather and current backlog of traffic, a complete intermodal network recovery could extend into mid-March. 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
    • NS Chicago 47th Street, IL to all destinations
    • NS Chicago/Calumet, IL to all destinations
    • All NS origin points to NS Chicago 47th Street; 63rd Street; Calumet; and Landers
    • All NS origin points, except from Atlanta/Austell, GA, 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
    • 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 to Chicago/Willow Springs, IL
    • BNSF Chicago/Willow Springs, IL to all destinations

To expedite the recovery, J.B. Hunt continues to develop new steel wheel services with its rail providers that bypass the Chicago ramps. In addition, J.B. Hunt is repositioning drivers to impacted locations 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 continues to traverse 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, 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 communicate updates as they become available. Customer service is essential to J.B. Hunt, and we apologize for the inconvenience these service interruptions have caused. J.B. Hunt will continue to provide you with solutions during these very demanding times.