LOWELL, Ark. and FORT WORTH, Texas – J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (NASDAQ: JBHT), one of the largest supply chain solutions providers in North America, and BNSF Railway (BNSF), North America’s largest intermodal rail provider, today 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.
34 Years of Intermodal Collaboration
The name of the groundbreaking service is a nod to J.B. Hunt and BNSF’s (then Santa Fe Railway) historic effort to bring rail and trucking together into a streamlined service. In 1989, the two launched the industry’s first modern intermodal transportation solution – also named Quantum – with 150 trailers. The growth was explosive, leading to more innovations: double stacking containers, creating company-owned chassis and adding onsite terminals and express gates.
Recent efforts by J.B. Hunt and BNSF to improve intermodal service efficiency helped lay the groundwork for Quantum. In 2022, the two launched a joint initiative to improve capacity in the intermodal marketplace while also meeting the expanding needs of customers. This included plans from J.B. Hunt to grow intermodal capacity to as many as 150,000 containers in the next few years. BNSF committed to creating additional capacity at existing intermodal facilities in the near term and also their intention to build a new state-of-the-art master planned rail facility in Southern California, the Barstow International Gateway, serving the Southern California ports. Together, their efforts helped address container velocity and service efficiency during a volatile market.
J.B. Hunt and BNSF announced the new service during a keynote at the FreightWaves F3: Future of Freight Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In September, J.B. Hunt purchased the brokerage operations of BNSF Logistics, an affiliate of BNSF Railway Company.
About J.B. Hunt
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. is on a mission to create the most efficient transportation network in North America. The company’s industry-leading solutions and mode-neutral approach generate value for customers by eliminating waste, reducing costs and enhancing supply chain visibility. Powered by one of the largest company-owned fleets in the country with more than 163,000 pieces of trailing equipment and nearly one million accessible trucks through its J.B. Hunt 360°® digital freight marketplace, J.B. Hunt can meet the unique shipping needs of any business, from first mile to final delivery, and every shipment in-between. Through disciplined investments in its people, technology and capacity, J.B. Hunt is delivering exceptional value and service that enable long-term growth for the company and its stakeholders.
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. is a Fortune 500 company, an S&P 500 company and a component of the Dow Jones Transportation Average. Its stock trades on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol JBHT. J.B. Hunt Transport Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of JBHT. The company’s services include intermodal, dedicated, refrigerated, truckload, less-than-truckload, flatbed, single source, last mile, transload and more. For more information, visit www.jbhunt.com.
About BNSF Railway
BNSF Railway is one of North America’s leading freight transportation companies. BNSF operates approximately 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states and three Canadian provinces. BNSF is one of the top transporters of consumer goods, grain and agricultural products, low-sulfur coal, and industrial goods such as petroleum, chemicals, housing materials, food, and beverages. BNSF’s shipments help feed, clothe, supply, and power American homes and businesses every day. BNSF and its employees have developed one of the most technologically advanced, and efficient railroads in the industry. We work continuously to improve the value of the safety, service, energy, and environmental benefits we provide to our customers and the communities we serve. You can learn more about BNSF at www.BNSF.com.