J.B. Hunt, rail carriers establish cross-border intermodal service

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 293 views 

Lowell-based carrier J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., Fort Worth, Texas-based BNSF Railway and Mexico carrier Grupo Mexico Transportes are collaborating on a new intermodal service between Central Mexico and the U.S. border in Texas, according to a Monday (Nov. 13) news release. The new service is expected to improve delivery times of cross-border intermodal shipments.

Their announcement to collaborate on the new service comes a week after J.B. Hunt and BNSF launched Quantum, a premium intermodal service expected to cut delivery times by one day compared to traditional intermodal service. The new service in Mexico will run between Monterrey, Silao-Bajio and Pantaco-Mexico City regions and Eagle Pass, Texas. It’s set to start Jan. 1 and is expected to be one day faster than existing service between Monterrey and Chicago.

“This new service offering will provide resilient, cross-border solutions that give our customers optionality to support their growing supply chain needs in Mexico,” said John Roberts, CEO of J.B. Hunt. “The cost savings and sustainability benefits of intermodal service are proven, and we’re proud to collaborate with our rail providers BNSF and GMXT to bring this robust service offering to reality.”

According to the release, Grupo Mexico Transportes will operate the service in Mexico six days a week. Service to El Paso, Texas, will also be available.

“GMXT is ready to support the freight demand growth that nearshoring presents with North America by providing flexible and top-notch rail services to our customers,” said Fernando Lopez, CEO of Grupo Mexico Transportes. “Eagle Pass is a strategic gateway, and we are committed to connecting Mexico and the U.S. through smart and secure borders while helping our countries facilitate the trade.”

The service is expected to provide seamless transportation between Mexico and the United States, the release shows.

“Our organizations are committed to growth, and this joint service offering is a direct reflection of that commitment,” said Katie Farmer, president and CEO of BNSF. “By utilizing the capacity and expertise of the largest intermodal railroad in the U.S., the largest railroad in Mexico and the largest domestic intermodal carrier, this product will seamlessly connect the North American intermodal network.”

According to the Association of American Railroads, intermodal volume in Mexico rose by 29.6% to 11,670 intermodal units for the week ending Nov. 4 compared to the same period last year. Over the same period, U.S. intermodal volume rose by 1.5% to 260,342 containers and trailers.

Shares of J.B. Hunt (NASDAQ: JBHT) were trading Tuesday (Nov. 14) at $180.82, up $7.18 or 4.14%. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has ranged between $163.66 and $209.21.