Hub to Shift All BNSF Loads to Union Pacific

Hub to Shift All BNSF Loads to Union Pacific

Hub Group, one of the leading intermodal middleman firms, will take the remaining 1,400 containers it runs on BNSF Railway and move them this year to Union Pacific Railroad.

“We’ll be completing that by the end of October,” at which time Hub will have all its western-U.S. domestic container business on UP, David Yeager, Hub’s chairman and CEO, told The Journal of Commerce.

That helps explain why UP officials have been talking up their domestic intermodal outlook for this year. That carrier is already benefiting in 2010 from a share increase after Hub last summer began transitioning nearly all its western box traffic to UP, in a move both said was driven by network efficiency advantages Hub saw by using UP.

At the time, however, Hub said it planned to keep about 1,400 containers moving on BNSF, while moving 8,400 to UP. Counting those UP was already handling, that put about 14,400 of Hub-controlled containers onto the Union Pacific network.

Now, as its remaining BNSF equipment arrangements expire, Hub will be shifting that last traffic onto UP. Yeager said this decision was again about the added efficiencies of using a single carrier and avoiding extra drayage of customer boxes between separated rail facilities.

Contact John D. Boyd at jboyd@joc.com.