BNSF opens Tacoma domestic intermodal facility

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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BNSF opens new Tacoma intermodal facility.

BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) has partnered with the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) to develop a new rail hub at the Port of Tacoma to meet increased intermodal demand in the greater Seattle region and unlock capacity.

The new Tacoma South facility is part of a joint effort announced in March 2022 between J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (NASDAQ: JBHT) and BNSF to substantially improve capacity in the intermodal marketplace.

The new domestic intermodal facility will accommodate more than 50,000 annual container lifts. The Tacoma South facility will complement BNSF’s current domestic intermodal facility in Tukwila, serving NWSA’s Seattle Harbor.

“Growing the NWSA’s domestic intermodal volumes has long been a goal for the Seattle and Tacoma gateway,” stated Don Meyer, NWSA Co-Chair and Port of Tacoma Commissioner President. “The facility will increase job opportunities while reducing truck emissions associated with moving cargo to inland markets.”

In mid August 2022, BNSF will launch a direct container-only joint service with J.B. Hunt between its Tacoma South facility and Chicago. The new service will provide greater network and facility efficiency for BNSF while increasing container capacity and chassis availability for J. B. Hunt.

“The new Tacoma South facility builds upon our joint initiative with J.B. Hunt to substantially improve capacity in the intermodal marketplace while also meeting the expanding needs of our customers,” said Tom Williams, BNSF group vice president, Consumer Products. “Our collaboration with the NWSA will help support greater warehousing and distribution needs in the fast-growing greater Seattle area.”

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