BNSF is increasing intermodal options in Texas by expanding service at the Port of Houston in response to what BNSF says is growing intermodal demand.

The western U.S. railroad plans to add more service options between the Barbours Cut Container Terminal at the Port of Houston, which has on-dock terminal capability, and BNSF’s intermodal facility at Alliance, Texas, which is nearby Dallas-Fort Worth and has benefited from expanded capacity and technology enhancements as well as existing live lift capabilities, according to a Monday release. BNSF is also expanding service between Barbours Cut and BNSF’s intermodal facility in Denver.

The new service, which will start on June 2, “supports greater supply chain efficiency and is made possible due to BNSF’s continued focus on providing access to key markets and enhanced service capabilities for our customers,” BNSF (NYSE: BRK.B)  said. “Based on vessel arrival, these new intermodal service schedule updates have the potential to increase in frequency to meet growing intermodal demand at the Port of Houston.”

According to FreightWaves’ SONAR, while outbound rail container volume in 2023 is lower than in previous years amid greater market pressures, the data reflects the potential for more nonrefrigerated containers to move out of Houston.

Outbound rail container volume from Houston. (FreightWaves SONAR) To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.

BNSF reported earlier this month that volume for its consumer products segment, which includes intermodal, fell 16% in the first quarter of 2023 amid lower intermodal shipments resulting from fewer West Coast imports and the loss of an intermodal customer. 

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Related links:

BNSF’s Q1 net income falls 9% amid 10% drop in carload volumes

3 US Class I railroads must keep giving STB service improvement updates

BNSF looking at fractured rail’s role in Minnesota train derailment

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