Posts Tagged ‘Railroad intermodal terminals’

J.B. Hunt Can’t Meet Customer Demand for Intermodal Service Due to Congestion

July 21, 2021

Intermodal shipper J.B. Hunt said this week that it cannot meet the demand for its service because of reduced velocity in the North American railroad network.

During a quarterly earnings call on Monday, Hunt managers said the demand for its services exceeds its capacity.

Managers said another factor behind that was slow customer turn times.

In recent weeks some Class 1 railroads have begun limiting acceptance of intermodal shipments because of congested terminals.

BNSF, for example, is limiting the flow of international containers from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to its Logistics Park Chicago intermodal terminal for two weeks to work off a backlog of containers in Chicago.

Union Pacific has temporarily suspended inbound moves of international containers from West Coast ports to its Global IV terminal in Chicago.

Chicago is the largest single destination for cargo arriving at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the two busiest ports in North America.

Los Angeles handled record container volume in June, while Long Beach saw record volumes in May.

CSX has been restricting the flow of containers from the Port of New York and New Jersey to terminals in Chicago, Cleveland and Indianapolis.

In Canada, backlogs have been reported at the Port of Vancouver due to fire-related line closures and operational restrictions affecting Canadian Pacific and Canadian National.

Darren Field, president of Hunt’s intermodal division, said labor shortages at intermodal terminals and at customer warehouses is the major reason behind slow turnaround times for Hunt’s containers.

Hunt has imposed accessorial charges and in some cases is restricting capacity to some customer locations in an effort to encourage shippers to increase their turnaround times.

 “We are working very closely with our rail providers and customers to improve our capacity across the network by focusing on reducing the detention of equipment and helping our rail providers reduce congestion across their terminal infrastructure,” Field said.

J.B. Hunt primarily uses Norfolk Southern also routes some containers via CSX.

Field said he does not expect railroads to melt down despite reduced velocity and capacity limits at some intermodal terminals.

He said at some locations employment levels are 5 percent below where they need to be to handle current volume.

“All of the railroads are very focused on these challenges and they are out addressing them,” Field said.

L&I to Open Terminal In Jeffersonville

October 9, 2020

Indiana short line Louisville & Indiana working with American Commercial Barge Line has announced plans to open the Jeffersonville (Indiana) RiverRail Terminal in early 2021.

The facility is located on a mile-long parcel along the Ohio River opposite of Louisville, Kentucky, and has more than 60 acres of industrial land.

It will provide break bulk and bulk shipping of raw materials and finished goods.

The terminal’s website said that markets in Northern Kentucky and Southern Indiana will be “readily reached” from the terminal with rail transit times typically two days or less.

L&I operates 106 route miles and connects with Class I railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern in Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville and Indianapolis.

In a news release L&I said unit train, carload and intermodal operations will be supported at the site, which accommodates 286,000-pound gross weight on rail.

The terminal will feature 147,000 square feet of indoor storage with rail and multimodal access; 35 acres of outdoor storage and laydown area ready for development; 22 fleeting spaces on site with additional fleeting space nearby; and 110 rail-car capacity on site.

CSX About to Begin Building Pittsburgh Terminal

October 8, 2015

CSX is about to begin construction of a $60 million intermodal terminal in Pittsburgh.

The 70-acre Pittsburgh Intermodal Rail Terminal is being developed in a former Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad yard in McKees Rocks and Stowe Township.

“After many months of hard work from dozens of experts and partners working to strengthen transportation options and the area economy, the first phase of project development is complete, including planning, design, permitting and property acquisition,” said CSX President Clarence Gooden in a statement.

The railroad two years ago announced its plans to develop the facility, which is expected to serve western Pennsylvania.

Public Opposition KOs Erie Intermodal Plan

June 12, 2014

Public opposition to the site of a proposed intermodal rail terminal near Erie, Pa., has killed the project for now.

The Greater Erie Industrial Development Corp. and DevelopErie’s Joint Finance Committee have decided not to fund the $60 million project, which had been seen as a major component of the larger Inland Port initiative.

The decision made last month came following hundreds of public comments. Officials said they concluded that although many supported development of the rail terminal, they didn’t want to see it built in Harborcreek Township alongside the CSX’s mainline between Cleveland and Buffalo, N.Y.

“With the negative feedback regarding the Harborcreek location, businesses are hesitant to provide vocal public support and prospective investors are standing still,” the board said in a statement.

“We are not going to force this project on anyone,” said John Elliott, executive director of DevelopErie. “No one has the appetite for that.”

Plans to development the rail terminal on a 30-acre site near Walbridge Road were announced last November.

Public meetings held since then drew criticism and concerns about traffic, noise and the inconvenience the project would bring.

The future of the proposed rail terminal remains in doubt, although officials hinted that they might try to develop it at another location in Erie County.

Barbara Chaffee, chief executive of the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, called for the project or a similar one to be built on another site.

“We, the Chamber, believe there was merit for economic development for the region to have an inland rail terminal,” she said. “We think it’s critical to move forward with multiple intermodal initiatives.”

Harborcreek Township Supervisor Dean Pepicello, though, welcomed the news.

“We appreciate the DevelopErie team and (GEIDC) board of directors’ decision to remove the Harborcreek site from consideration,” Pepicello said. “It is clear that this project would have had substantial negative consequences for Erie County’s third largest municipality, and that there are much more appropriate sites in Erie County for the proposed terminal.”

The proposed rail terminal had been part the larger Erie Inland Port project, which involves the ports of Erie and Conneaut, Ohio, as well as large business parks featuring railroad and highway connections to handle the distribution, transportation and warehousing of goods.

Officials expect other components of the Inland Port plan to continue, including developing intermodal facilities intermodal facilities in western Erie County and a proposed $32 million import-export facility on the city of Erie’s east bayfront.

Although building the rail intermodal terminal on another location had been suggested, Elliott said developing the project at another location would cost additional dollars, carry its own set of risks and might not have won public support either.

Elliott said a study had validated the project, but it made no sense to continue it without public support.

Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper was disappointed to learn that the rail terminal project has been shelved, although she called it a prudent decision given the public opposition that had prompted investors to pull back.

“Unless businesses and the public say they want this to happen in Erie County, there’s not going to be that investment,” Dahlkemper said.

Dahlkemper said Develop Erie could have done a better job, initially, explaining the project to the public and local officials. She believes that contributed to the “misunderstanding, misinformation and some of the angst” the rail project generated.

“I’m very disappointed,” Dahlkemper said. “I think a rail terminal like this, not necessarily in Harborcreek but somewhere in Erie County, would be very beneficial to our economy.”

William Petit, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s district executive in northwestern Pennsylvania, said projects like the proposed Erie intermodal terminal need significant planning and”a good public dialogue” in order to be successful.

Petit said that having public discussions about the project sooner than they were conducted might have made a difference.

“But at the end of the day it’s going to take a coalition of public and private-sector people, believing it’s important to a region, for a project like this to be successful,” he said.

Elliott also said that the Erie area’s aversion to risk came into play.

“The environment in Erie is not one that celebrates the risk involved,” he said. “We are very quick to trumpet the failures when someone does take a risk.”

Meeting Set to Discuss Erie Container Facility

March 27, 2014

A public meeting has been set for April 3 in Erie, Pa., to discuss a planned intermodal container transfer facility that will be built in northwest Pennsylvania.

DevelopErie and EIP Intermodal Rail Terminal L.L.C. are planing to build the facility in Harborcreek Township along the CSX mainline between Cleveland and Buffalo, N.Y.

The facility will have five miles of track, and truck parking and loading areas. Construction is tentatively scheduled to start in the fall with an earlly 2016 opening. DevelopErie and EIP officials will review the project’s history, discuss the site selection parameters, describe the environmental clearance process, identify the scope of traffic studies, outline future public involvement opportunities and gather public comments.

“We recognize the level of public interest in this important project and we’re eager to share the latest information related to its development,” said EIP President Steve Rubin in a news release.

A traffic study was begun earlier this year by the consulting firm of EMH&T and Urban Engineers. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will review the study when it’s completion.

“We still have more steps to take in order to obtain environmental clearance and complete the associated traffic studies, but we are committed to see these studies through to ensure impacts to the environment and the community are minimized,” said Katrina Smith, DevelopErie’s senior vice president.