Union Pacific Railroad has closed down most of its intermodal connections in the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, and as far south as Texas for 72 hours. Due to extreme weather conditions, the UP has to take severe measures and call off its services in the region.
The decision had its impact on the supply chains, as it had brought it to an end, while the UP is focusing on its crew and trains’ safety. The intermodal Marketing Companies or IMCs have understood and welcomes the decision of the railroad. Many companies were unhappy with the announcement as they rarely had time to look for other alternatives. The railroad announced on Monday night after 5 P.M., and it was effective from Tuesday at 8 A.M.
In an official announcement, UP said on Feb 15 that there are exceptions to the suspension. It mentioned that the international shipments to or from the on-dock rail at the Port of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Tacoma, and Washington, will be accepted. Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) in Los Angeles, and off-dock rail for foreign and domestic shippers, will, however, remain close.
The announcement also mentioned that the Interline traffic, on a through bill of lading, on Class I railroad, heading to the Western US through Union Pacific, will also be accepted.
However, the western railroad remained quiet about the status of its decision on the containers transferred on the rail through the steel-wheel interchange. It was also not clearly stated whether the container will move on a train or held at the interchange location.
The UP has urged the people to assist the network recovery process by following their decision. On the other hand, BNSF Railway, another US western Class I railroad, effectively operates without any suspension or dropping off containers. It has, although, warned its customers of delays and service disruptions due to extreme weather conditions.