Wednesday, December 28, 2011

BNSF takes intermodal service to the next generation

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BNSF says it will transform shipper supply chains with its Next Generation Intermodal concept. The railroad says BNSF Next Generation Intermodal represents a new and innovative way of optimizing intermodal rail transportation as part of shippers' supply chains. Next Generation Intermodal is geared toward making shippers fully aware of the broad spectrum of shipping options made available through intermodal, including different rail speeds and multimodal rail options in the same lane.

BNSF provides an example: traditional thinking on a truckload shipment from Los Angeles to Charlotte, N.C., would have suggested that the shipment is railed to the closest hub with the shortest dray possible. But not one size fits all. With Next Generation Intermodal, shippers are aware of the creative options that may better fit their specific needs - whether that's faster transit time or greater cost savings.

"Providing shippers with this level of visibility and detail allows them to make the decisions that are best for their supply chains," said Steve Branscum, group vice president, Consumer Products (CP). "We believe highlighting this wide range of solutions will encourage shippers to try intermodal in situations they may not have considered before."

BNSF's online Intermodal Advisor tool provides shippers with detailed comparisons of shipping options, giving them everything they need to maximize their use of intermodal rail service. According to the railroad, CP has worked hard to help shippers better understand the benefits of intermodal shipping and how BNSF can best meet those needs.

"Next Generation Intermodal is the next step in an evolving process to help meet their expectations and to help them expand their use of rail intermodal solutions," Branscum said.

Next Generation Intermodal was discussed earlier this year during the CP Supply Chain Summit and, in mid-November, BNSF unveiled a new identity for Next Generation at the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) event in Atlanta, Ga.

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