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J.B. Hunt adds transloading services in Seattle and Laredo

Service now available at 4 major ocean ports, largest land port

J.B. Hunt announces the latest expansion of its transloading service. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

J.B. Hunt Transport Services continues to invest in its intermodal offering. On Monday, the company announced further expansion of its transloading network, this time adding locations in Tacoma, Washington, and Laredo, Texas.

The site in Laredo is already operational and the facility in Tacoma, serving the port there and in Seattle, will be open next month.

J.B. Hunt’s (NASDAQ: JBHT) transload locations transfer international ocean freight into company-owned 53-foot containers for further service by rail or road. The company now provides drayage and transloading services in four of the nation’s largest ocean ports as well as the biggest port of entry by land.

The Tacoma site will have access to BNSF’s (NYSE: BRK.B) new container-only direct service to Chicago, which began in August. The Laredo site will service inbound and outbound freight across the U.S. southern border. The location is expected to capitalize on increasing nearshoring opportunities in Mexico, a news release said.

“The complexities of international shipping continue to impact how our customers bring freight into the domestic supply chain,” Darren Field, president of J.B. Hunt’s intermodal division, said. “By growing the reach of our transload service and managing the drayage and loading processes for our customers, we can provide new levels of process oversight and visibility into their freight activity, particularly the critical first mile segment.”

J.B. Hunt opened its first transload site to alleviate congestion in the New York metro area in November 2021. It added a 91,000-square-foot facility in Commerce, California, to serve the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in July.

The transload offering is just one addition to J.B. Hunt’s overall intermodal strategy.

In March, the company announced it would grow its container fleet more than 40% to 150,000 units. That announcement also included a capacity commitment from BNSF, which later opened an intermodal facility in Tacoma capable of 50,000 lifts annually.

In June, J.B. Hunt entered a long-term charter agreement with Swire Shipping to expedite the delivery of its new containers and to transport customer cargo into the U.S.

BNSF announced plans Monday to invest more than $1.5 billion in a multiuse facility in Southern California. The site will provide transload services, transferring freight into containers destined for inland intermodal rail service.

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Todd Maiden

Based in Richmond, VA, Todd is the finance editor at FreightWaves. Prior to joining FreightWaves, he covered the TLs, LTLs, railroads and brokers for RBC Capital Markets and BB&T Capital Markets. Todd began his career in banking and finance before moving over to transportation equity research where he provided stock recommendations for publicly traded transportation companies.