J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. and BNSF Railway today launched a premium intermodal service, saying it will accommodate its customers’ “service-sensitive highway freight needs” by providing 95% on-time delivery service approximately a day faster than traditional intermodal service.
They will achieve that by aligning forecasts for dray, container, and rail capacity with customer needs, and incorporating priority drayage and rail movement to provide faster, more consistent transits, the partners said.
The new “Quantum” service comprises both J.B. Hunt and BNSF operators housed together at a new Intermodal Innovation Center at BNSF headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. That team will integrate their combined workflow at every step of the intermodal shipping process – from planning to execution and oversight to exception management.
“Quantum provides the exceptional intermodal service needed to consistently meet the demands of the most complex freight,” Spencer Frazier, executive vice president of marketing and sales at J.B. Hunt, said in a release. “Its solutions are flexible to address supply chain challenges in real time. Customers have access to multiple modes for unexpected concerns such as potential delays, volume surges or production issues.”
The Quantum team provides 24/7 oversight of every Quantum load and can quickly detect and resolve issues before they impact final delivery. Service and technology integration allow the Quantum team to identify variability and recommend an alternate solution among standard intermodal, expedited intermodal, and over-the-road.
As a premium service, Quantum load pricing will vary based on need, but customers can anticipate cost to range between that of traditional intermodal service and over-the-road service, the companies said.
The launch follows years of integration between the two companies, including a 2022 joint initiative to improve capacity in the intermodal marketplace while also meeting the expanding needs of customers. And two months ago, J.B. Hunt acquired BNSF’s brokerage operations.