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Rail Gate Closures and Restrictions Disrupt Intermodal Service

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.  However, due to the derailment, BNSF stopped accepting ingates for Standard service level shipments at its Los Angeles Hobart and Commerce, CA ramps at 11:59 p.m. PST, Wednesday, March 17.  In addition to the Los Angeles Hobart and Commerce gate closures, BNSF has implemented gate restrictions for Standard service level shipments at its San Bernardino and Barstow, CA ramps.  Prior to the derailment, car supply in Southern California was still in a fragile state from the recent service interruptions.  With inbound cars now delayed by the derailment, gate closures and restrictions are necessary to expedite the recovery and avoid more severe ramp congestion.

Meanwhile, the NS has made significant progress clearing the backlog of traffic at its Chicago Calumet, IL and Jacksonville, FL ramps.  As a result, effective immediately, NS has lifted all gate restrictions to and from Jacksonville, FL.  Also, effective immediately, NS has lifted all gate restrictions from its Chicago Calumet, IL facility.

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 Monday, March 22.  

All Standard traffic will be impacted in these lanes:

  • BNSF Los Angeles Hobart and Commerce, CA to all destinations – Ingate closure
  • 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 

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.