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BNSF reopens Arkansas intermodal facility to address Memphis-area demand

By | August 18, 2021

Trains from Long Beach, Calif, will now terminate at Harvard Intermodal Facility

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BNSF Railway logoFORT WORTH, Texas — BNSF Railway has reopened its Harvard Intermodal Facility in Marion, Ark., to address Memphis-area demand and increase capacity. In a press release, the railroad reports international intermodal shipments originating at Pier T of the Port of Long Beach, Calif., will now terminate at the Harvard facility.

The Harvard Intermodal Facility is 27 miles northwest of BNSF’s Memphis Intermodal Hub and 19 miles from downtown Memphis via Interstate 55.

With all railroads experiencing intermodal terminal congestion because of pandemic-related supply-chain issues, BNSF becomes the second railroad in a week to announce reopening of an intermodal facility. Norfolk Southern has announced it will reopen a facility in Greencastle, Pa., to handle traffic to and from Memphis [see “Norfolk Southern to reopen Pennsylanvia intermodal terminal,” Trains News Wire, Aug. 13, 2021].

Memphis-area businesses have been vocal about infrastructure delays, asking the Surface Transportation Board to intervene earlier this year [see “Digest: Amtrak selects Siemens …,” News Wire, April 21, 2021].

BNSF says it is still evaluating the possibility of trains from other locations serving the Harvard facility, as well as possible train starts from the Arkansas location.




5 thoughts on “BNSF reopens Arkansas intermodal facility to address Memphis-area demand

  1. Just wondering are these class one railroads reopening intermodal facilitys because of the pandemic supply chain issues. Or because they down sized and closed to many to soon for the bottom line and just using the pandemic as an excuse.

    1. I would say everything is about the bottom line which is fine considering their a business first and foremost..

      I think the reality that everyone knows is if Railroads truly want to take business away from truckers they need to do everything, from more facilities to finding more logistics partners (truckers and chasis) or outright embrace the business of delivering to the warehouse dock. All these terminals from my understanding are being operated by 3rd party handlers and 4rd party dryage/trucking companies to take the containers and trailers down the road. Can understand a big Port not handling a container once it is on the truck chasis or on railroad flat/well car but their seems to be a legit biz model for Railroads to reopen more terminals, buy some tractors and chasis outright, and finally price delivery to the warehouse. Not sure why railroads couldn’t do the same as Amazon, FedEx, UPS and the likes are already doing. It should actually be easier, Instead of trailer full of packages going in all sorts of directions they only have to get the one big container off the train, onto chasis and deliver.

      1. If you go back to the 60’s and 70’s you will find that railroads did have their own trucks and drivers but eventually outsourced this work to others.

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