Working to Normalize Service in the Greater Chicago Area

Feb 25, 2022

Operating conditions at BNSF's intermodal facilities in the Chicago area (Corwith, Cicero, Willow Springs and Logistics Park Chicago (LPC) are challenged as we work to recover from weather and construction impacts,and delays due to an upgrade to our operating system at LPC.

Frequent stormy weather during the past week has significantly impacted operations in the Chicago area. Blizzard conditions last Thursday and Friday caused major road closures and resulted in reduced productivity at intermodal facilities. Throughout the past week, we have also confronted frigid temperatures across the Upper Midwest, including the Twin Cities, which has necessitated train length restrictions on traffic moving through that region.

As we announced yesterday, we initiated temporary operating changes at LPC so that crews can complete an upgrade to the facility's operating system. Delays associated with transferring information from one system to another caused intermittent outages at our AGS (Automated Gate System) where drivers ingate. Crews have been working to resolve these issues, and we anticipate returning to normal operations early next week.

Once fully deployed, the new terminal operating system will lay the foundational platform to support additional future technology innovation and automation at LPC. Other anticipated benefits include enhanced crane efficiency that will improve facility throughput, and improved planning capabilities to better manage inventory levels and equipment flows.

Finally, crews have started working on a significant capacity project at our Cicero Intermodal Facility to create 400 additional parking stalls. Due to current construction, we anticipate some customers may experience periodic delays during work windows. This expansion project is a part of a multi-year project that includes additional production track and parking capacity to support intermodal growth.

Trucking partners operating in and out of BNSF’s Chicago Intermodal Facilities are encouraged to park in the designated spot identified on their J1 receipt. If the spot indicated on the J1 is occupied, drivers can park in a nearby spot within that lot and report the new location via BNSF's RailPASS Mobile App or during the outgate process. Prompt pick-up of shipments that have been unloaded at our intermodal facilities will help improve traffic flows, reduce lot congestion and provide the space needed for processing inbound freight as expeditiously as possible. Customers who can implement flexible receiving hours to assist carriers is appreciated.

We are confident that these changes will help deliver improved service and greater productivity at our Chicago intermodal facilities.

As always, we thank you for your business and appreciate the opportunity to serve as your transportation service provider.