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Rail Gate Closures and Restrictions Disrupt Intermodal Service | J.B. Hunt

Train carrying intermodal freight

At 05:00 a.m. CST, Wednesday, March 17, BNSF received a preliminary report that a non-intermodal train derailed near Glazier, TX blocking both main lines between the Pacific Southwest and Chicago, IL; Northwest OH; Edgerton, KS; St. Louis, MO; Memphis, TN; and Atlanta, GA.  The first main track was returned to service at 10:00 p.m. CST, Wednesday, March 17.  The second main track was returned to service at 02:30 a.m. CST, Thursday, March 18.  As a result of the derailment, BNSF stopped ingates on March 17th for all Standard service level shipments at its Los Angeles Hobart and Commerce, CA ramps and applied strict gate restrictions for Standard service level shipments at its San Bernardino and Barstow, CA ramps.  Effective Sunday March 21, the gate closures were lifted; however, ingate restrictions were implemented at all Southern California locations limiting J.B. Hunt to normal ingate activity.  While this is positive, there is limited availability to make progress in the current backlog of customer shipments.  Prior to the derailment, car supply in Southern California was still in a fragile state from the recent service interruptions.  With inbound cars further delayed by the derailment, gate restrictions are necessary to expedite the recovery and avoid more severe ramp congestion.

Meanwhile, J.B. Hunt has received new gate closure and restriction updates from the NS as they continue to work through the backlog of traffic at their Chicago facilities.  Effective immediately, NS has lifted all gate restrictions to and from Jacksonville, FL as well as to and from its Chicago/Calumet, IL facility.  Unfortunately, gate restrictions remain in place to and from its Chicago/47th Street facility.  Also, effective at 00:01 a.m. CST, Tuesday, March 23rd, NS will close all ingates to and from its Chicago/63rd Street facility due to significant terminal and yard congestion.    

Below is a summary of all rail gate closures and 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 Friday, March 26.  

All Standard traffic will be impacted in these lanes:

  • BNSF Los Angeles Hobart and Commerce, CA to all destinations – Ingates restricted
  • BNSF San Bernardino and Barstow, CA to all destinations – Ingates restricted
  • NS Chicago 47th Street, IL to all destinations – Ingates restricted
  • All NS origins points to Chicago 47th Street, IL – Ingates restricted 
  • NS Chicago 63rd Street, IL to all destinations – Ingate closure
  • All NS origins points to Chicago 63rd Street, IL – Ingate closure

Considering the ongoing rail velocity slowdown, equipment imbalances, and gate restrictions, J.B. Hunt expects container availability will remain extremely constrained throughout the country for the next two weeks.  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 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.