Transportation and logistics provider J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. is expanding the number of cargo containers in its intermodal fleet connecting truck and rail hauls in a move to accelerate international freight movement from Asia to the U.S., the company said.
Lowell, Arkansas-based J.B. Hunt added 250 new containers for the initiative on June 30, when the cargo vessel Johnelle docked at the Port of Everett in Washington. That number is expected to grow further in July when the Johnnie Bryan, a second cargo vessel, is expected to deliver additional boxes at the Port of Hueneme in California.
Together, the moves are part of J.B. Hunt’s goal to grow its intermodal fleet to as many as 150,000 containers in the next three to five years. The company currently operates more than 109,000 53’-containers and 6,000 tractors in that fleet.
Both new deliveries are part of a long-term, multi-vessel service agreement between J.B. Hunt and Swire Shipping Pte. Ltd. that will help expedite the overseas transport of new company containers, the company said.
Under the agreement, J.B. Hunt will have ongoing cargo shipping opportunities available from the Shenzhen, Qingdao, and Shanghai markets in China to ports in California and the Pacific Northwest. The planned moves will help customers alleviate supply chain challenges such as equipment dislocation and fluidity, dwell time, and demurrage by streamlining the ocean transport and transloading process.
“We’re really solving for two very big challenges with this agreement,” Darren Field, president of intermodal and executive vice president at J.B. Hunt, said in a release. “First, we’re adding intermodal capacity, which will provide customers with more opportunity to leverage the cost-savings and sustainability benefits that J.B. Hunt Intermodal offers. Second, we’re greatly reducing the time it takes for customers’ freight originating overseas to be out for delivery in the U.S., something that has troubled the industry for years.”
To help add new #Intermodal containers to our fleet and give customers a way to move international cargo, we’ve begun a long-term, multi-vessel service agreement. Two of the vessels, the Johnelle and the Johnnie Bryan, were even named after our founders! https://t.co/my8LrHZq2W— J.B. Hunt 360 (@jbhunt360) June 30, 2022