Business, Freight News, Rail

J.B. Hunt and BNSF Expand Intermodal Marketplace With Launch of Quantum

[ December 1, 2023   //   ]

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. and BNSF Railway (BNSF), have announced the launch of Quantum, a breakthrough intermodal service that accommodates the service-sensitive highway freight needs of customer supply chains.

Quantum provides the consistency, agility and speed needed to transport service-sensitive highway freight using rail. Solutions are customized specifically to each customer’s needs, taking into account service expectations, transit requirements and operational procedures. The Quantum team is comprised of both J.B. Hunt and BNSF operators housed together at a new Intermodal Innovation Center at BNSF headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. Their workflow is integrated at every step of the intermodal shipping process – from planning to execution and oversight to exception management.

“Quantum allows customers with service-sensitive freight to benefit from the cost savings of intermodal, while reducing their carbon footprint and maintaining the level of service and consistency needed in their supply chains,” said Darren Field, president of intermodal at J.B. Hunt. “Our joint service and capacity are unmatched. When combined with J.B. Hunt’s broad range of flexible solutions, there’s no provider in the industry who can match Quantum’s ability to move your most important freight.”

Quantum customers can anticipate up to 95 percent on-time delivery service approximately a day faster than traditional intermodal service. Planning starts with aligning forecasts for dray, container and rail capacity with customer needs. Priority drayage and rail movement are incorporated to provide faster, more consistent transits.

“We are excited to bring this innovative vision to life by creating Quantum with J.B. Hunt,” said Tom Williams, group vice president of consumer products at BNSF. “Built on a long-standing strategic partnership foundation and decades of intermodal capacity expansion investments, Quantum will provide a faster and more consistent intermodal solution to customers. Our new Intermodal Innovation Center will foster continued collaboration between our companies to continue evolving with our customers’ supply chain needs and create the intermodal solution of the future.”

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.

“Quantum provides the exceptional intermodal service needed to consistently meet the demands of the most complex freight,” said Spencer Frazier, executive vice president of marketing and sales at J.B. Hunt. “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.”

Quantum is a premium intermodal service, and pricing will vary based on need. Customers can anticipate cost to range between that of traditional intermodal service and over-the-road service. Based on analysis of J.B. Hunt 360°® transactions and annual bid activity, J.B. Hunt estimates that as many as 7 to 11 million loads of freight support conversion from over-the-road truck service to intermodal service. Converting over-the-road highway freight to rail intermodal is the most widely available ground transportation solution for cutting carbon emissions, reducing a shipment’s carbon footprint by an average of 60 percent compared to over-the-road truck transportation.

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