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Historic Winter Weather Disrupts Intermodal Service

The intermodal network continues to recover from the historic winter weather.  With this week’s progress, the NS has communicated several gate restriction updates.  Effective immediately, NS gate restrictions have been lifted to/from Chicago 63rd Street as well as to Chicago 47th Street.  Effective Saturday, February 27, NS gate restrictions will be lifted to/from Chicago/Calumet.  Effective Monday, March 1, NS gate restrictions will be lifted from Chicago 47th Street as well as to Chicago/Landers.  Also, effective Monday, March 1, J.B. Hunt will cease restricting volume to KCS Dallas/Wylie, TX.  Although J.B. Hunt will resume pickup operations immediately once the restrictions are lifted, the backlog of pickups will take several days to process.

Unfortunately, with the rail car supply in Southern California disrupted from the recent winter weather events, BNSF has communicated new gate restrictions.  Effective immediately, BNSF is restricting ingates for Standard service level shipments from Los Angeles to all destinations as well as San Bernardino to Chicago/Corwith.  

Below is a summary of all rail restrictions currently impacting J.B. Hunt and its customers.  Unless indicated otherwise, these restrictions are expected to limit J.B. Hunt’s ability to pick up shipments through at least Monday, March 1.  However, considering the current backlog of traffic, a complete intermodal network recovery could extend into mid-March.  

  • All Standard traffic will be impacted in these lanes including rubber tire crosstowns and excluding steel wheel interchanges:
    • NS Chicago/Calumet, IL to all destinations – NS will lift gate restrictions Saturday, February 27
    • All NS origin points to NS Chicago/Calumet, IL – NS will lift gate restrictions Saturday, February 27
    • NS Chicago 47th Street, IL to all destinations – NS will lift gate restrictions Monday, March 1
    • All NS origin points to Chicago/Landers, IL – NS will lift gate restrictions Monday, March 1
    • 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 Chicago/Corwith, IL
    • All NS origin points to KCS Dallas/Wylie, TX – J.B. Hunt will lift restrictions Monday, March 1
  • All Expedited traffic will be impacted in these lanes including rubber tire crosstowns and excluding steel wheel interchanges:
    • BNSF Chicago/Willow Springs, IL to all destinations 

To expedite the recovery, J.B. Hunt continues to utilize newly developed steel wheel services that bypass the Chicago ramps.  In addition, J.B. Hunt has repositioned drivers to impacted locations to increase dray capacity.  Considering the current velocity slowdown, equipment imbalances, and gate restrictions, container availability will be impacted throughout the country for the next two to three weeks.  However, with a vast network of service offerings, J.B. Hunt can provide highway solutions to mitigate these intermodal disruptions.  A representative will communicate load specific delays along with alternative rail and highway routing options.  

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