USA Truck adds domestic containers to intermodal offerings through a deal with BNSF

Dry van truckload carrier USA Truck has expanded its intermodal menu, announcing it recently inked a long-term contract with Class I railroad carrier BNSF Railway to move private 53-foot domestic intermodal containers.

By ·

Dry van truckload carrier USA Truck has expanded its intermodal menu, announcing it recently inked a long-term contract with Class I railroad carrier BNSF Railway to move private 53-foot domestic intermodal containers.

Company officials said USA Truck moved its first rail intermodal load in December 2007 and two years later had 69 percent year-over-year intermodal growth in 2009 and 50 percent growth for the first half of 2010. They said the majority of that revenue came from intermodal trailer-on-flat-car (TOFC) service, adding that adding private intermodal containers through this deal provides it with an opportunity to continue to grow on the intermodal side.

Adding containers to its intermodal lineup is something USA Truck been planning on for more than two years, said Chad Van Kooten, USA Truck vice president of sales and intermodal, in an interview.

“The container-on-a-flat-car (COFC) market is something we wanted to get into, but we wanted to have a better understanding of it, so we introduced the TOFC service, which is still the majority of intermodal business we do today, first,” said Van Kooten. “We saw this as a great opportunity to introduce containers to our customer base and further diversify our intermodal product.”

Van Kooten said USA Truck has had a relationship—BNSF’s run of TOFC products—since it got into the intermodal sector. He explained that BNSF knew USA Truck had wanted to get into the intermodal market for some time, which led to meetings between the companies, coupled with BNSF providing USA Truck with some intermodal containers, and a subsequent official partnership.

Van Kooten declined to disclose specifics regarding the contractual terms between USA Truck and BNSF, due to a non-disclosure agreement between the companies.

“Our customer base is very diversified; we will introduce this product to some of our core customers and also those outside of core customer base,” he said. “It also gives us a bigger slice of the rail intermodal business.”

And as freight transportation capacity has tightened over the last several months, Van Kooten said USA Truck expects to be able to offer shippers additional capacity through this partnership.

This news is reflective of the increased traction domestic intermodal continues to gain in recent quarters, especially on the container side. As an example, the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) recently reported that domestic container loadings in the second quarter at 1,128,108 were up 16.4 percent.


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

· All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Gaining Efficiencies Through End-to-end Warehouse Automation
Warehouse and distribution center managers in B2B and B2C have never been under more pressure to scale up their operations to meet customer demands in the new, digital economy. Warehouse Automation Custom digital issue, Peerless custom Automation white paper. Warehouse Automation research papers.
Download Today!
From the September 2016 Issue
The fashion retailer has used warehouse execution software and automation to create a true omni-channel distribution center.
Lift Truck Tips: Knowledge is Power
Software system gives new facility a competitive edge
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
5 Emerging Technologies Enabling Competitive Advantage for Distribution
Come hear about the latest in each-picking robotics, co-bots, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, sensors, drones and droids that are enabling competitive advantage for distribution.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
American Eagle Outfitters’ omni-channel journey
The fashion retailer has used warehouse execution software and automation to create a true...
The data-driven lift truck
Now that manufacturers and distributors are using the data from their automated systems to drive...

Destination Maternity: Destination Automation
Running short of space in its old facility, Destination Maternity Corp. built a new, highly...
Hibbett Sports: Faster, Flexible and Efficient
A high-speed conveyor and sortation system at Hibbett Sports’ Alabama distribution center speeds...