The western railroads provide the vital intermodal link between the West Coast and the eastern half of the country for containerized imports from Asia, and they appear to be taking in stride the cargo diverted to West Coast ports because of uncertainty over the outcome of dockworker contract negotiations on the East Coast.
Hub Group, a large intermodal marketing company, works closely with Union Pacific Railroad in its Southern California operations. UP operates the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility located less than five miles from Los Angeles-Long Beach harbor.
Dan Rehill, Hub Group’s regional vice president of intermodal and drayage operations, said UP has remained fluid since container volumes spiked in Southern California. “We are having no issues with the Union Pacific to date,” he said. “Even with the higher volumes now that the peak is here, we see no issues at the railyards, chassis, nor a slowdown in normal train operations, both inbound and outbound.”
BNSF Railway said its operations in Southern California are operating normally. The railroad has ample power, railcar capacity and equipment, and BNSF expects that scenario to continue through the peak season, spokeswoman Krista York-Woolley said.