In a groundbreaking collaboration, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. and BNSF Railway, two major players in North America’s supply chain and intermodal rail sectors, have introduced Quantum, a game-changing intermodal service designed to cater to the service-sensitive freight needs of customer supply chains.
Quantum is set to redefine the landscape of intermodal shipping by offering the consistency, agility, and speed required to transport service-sensitive highway freight efficiently using rail. The service is tailored to each customer’s unique requirements, considering service expectations, transit needs, and operational procedures.
The Quantum team, comprising operators from both J.B. Hunt and BNSF, is headquartered at the newly established Intermodal Innovation Center in Fort Worth, Texas. This collaborative hub ensures seamless integration of workflow at every stage of the intermodal shipping process, from planning to execution and oversight to exception management.
Darren Field, President of Intermodal at J.B. Hunt, emphasized, “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.”
Quantum customers can expect up to 95 percent on-time delivery service, approximately a day faster than traditional intermodal services. The planning process involves aligning forecasts for dray, container, and rail capacity with customer needs, incorporating priority drayage and rail movement to ensure faster and more consistent transits.
Tom Williams, Group Vice President of Consumer Products at BNSF, expressed excitement about bringing this innovative vision to life, stating, “Quantum will provide a faster and more consistent intermodal solution to customers, fostering continued collaboration between our companies to create the intermodal solution of the future.”
The Quantum team provides 24/7 oversight of every Quantum load, swiftly detecting and resolving issues before they impact final delivery. The integration of service and technology enables the team to identify variability and recommend alternate solutions, including standard intermodal, expedited intermodal, and over-the-road options.
Spencer Frazier, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales at J.B. Hunt, highlighted, “Quantum provides the exceptional intermodal service needed to consistently meet the demands of the most complex freight. Its solutions are flexible to address supply chain challenges in real time.”
Quantum, positioned as a premium intermodal service, offers flexible pricing based on individual needs, ranging between traditional intermodal and over-the-road service costs. J.B. Hunt estimates that as many as 7 to 11 million loads of freight could potentially convert from over-the-road truck service to intermodal service, significantly reducing carbon emissions by an average of 60 percent compared to traditional truck transportation.
The name “Quantum” pays homage to the historic collaboration between J.B. Hunt and BNSF (formerly Santa Fe Railway), dating back to 1989 when the two companies launched the industry’s first modern intermodal transportation solution with 150 trailers. Now, Quantum stands as a testament to their ongoing commitment to innovation and sustainability in the realm of intermodal freight solutions.
© 2023 David Mazor
Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.