BNSF Railway & J.B. Hunt Celebrate 20 Years of Intermodal Success

FORT WORTH, Texas — Twenty years ago, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. and BNSF predecessor The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company loaded a Hunt trailer onto a railcar and ushered in the modern age of intermodal freight transport.

Today, intermodal is one of the most efficient, economic and environmentally friendly ways to move goods. However, 20 years ago, trucks and trains were more competitors than partners. All that changed in 1989 when Santa Fe and J.B. Hunt Transport came together in a move that would lead the industry in innovation.

This joint effort started with 150 trailers and five railcars moving freight between Chicago and California. Today, BNSF and J.B. Hunt provide transportation solutions throughout North America. In 2008, more than 700,000 shipments were moved through this strategic transportation alliance.

“When the partnership started no one could have imagined the effect it would have on the industry,” said Steve Branscum, BNSF vice president, Consumer Products. “Once thought of as experimental, today intermodal offers shippers innovative, efficient and value-added services that allow them to effectively compete both domestically and worldwide.”

“Together, J.B. Hunt and BNSF offer the industry’s most efficient and reliable freight transportation solution,” said Paul Bergant, president, J.B. Hunt Intermodal. “The partnership continues to allow us to offer our customers an array of solutions that consistently meet their unique shipping needs.

“The future of intermodal and the BNSF-J.B. Hunt partnership is very bright,” Bergant added. “Joint intermodal service is the perfect solution for shippers looking to navigate the numerous and volatile issues they face in today’s transport market such as fuel prices and highway congestion.”