News & Reviews News Wire J.B. Hunt to acquire Walmart intermodal containers under new long-term deal

J.B. Hunt to acquire Walmart intermodal containers under new long-term deal

By Bill Stephens | February 22, 2024

The intermodal service agreement builds on the decades-long relationship between the largest intermodal provider and the largest retailer

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Walmart 53-foot containers ride atop J.B. Hunt and Schneider boxes on a westbound BNSF Railway stack train descending Cajon Pass in California in September 2021. Bill Stephens

LOWELL, Ark. — J.B. Hunt will acquire all of Walmart’s domestic intermodal containers and chassis as part of a new long-term intermodal contract with the nation’s largest retailer.

Walmart, which has been a J.B. Hunt customer for decades, had 14,100 WAMU containers in its fleet as of April 2023, but that figure is now between 15,000 and 16,000 boxes, says Jason Hilsenbeck, president of LoadMatch and The addition of the Walmart boxes will push J.B. Hunt’s already industry-largest container fleet over the 132,000 mark.

“Mr. Hunt always said ‘Good partners attract good partners,’” Spencer Frazier, executive vice president of sales and marketing at J.B. Hunt, said in a statement. “Our customers trust us to develop solutions that scale and drive efficiencies across their ever-changing supply chains. Today’s announcement is a testament to the mutual trust and shared vision our companies have developed over time, and innovative arrangements like this one demonstrate J.B. Hunt’s disciplined approach to strategically allocating capital to advance our mission of driving long-term value for our people, customers and shareholders.”

The service agreement increases the companies’ respective current volume and capacity commitments and enables the development of comprehensive intermodal solutions. In connection with the service agreement and increased commitments, J.B. Hunt will acquire Walmart’s operational intermodal container and chassis fleets.

“Finding new ways to serve our customers and members and exceed their expectations is important to us,” Fernando Cortes, senior vice president of transportation at Walmart, said in a statement. “Walmart’s long history of working with J.B. Hunt has many milestones of innovation and growth. This agreement will strengthen our commitment to delivering goods at an everyday low cost to our customers and members.”

J.B. Hunt uses a proprietary design on its containers and chassis, so the Walmart containers will have to ride on the chassis that Hunt is acquiring as part of the deal.

4 thoughts on “J.B. Hunt to acquire Walmart intermodal containers under new long-term deal

  1. Anyone know why shipping containers use steel instead of a high strength polymer? Seems like there is an opportunity to lose some shipping weight by replacing the steel with something just as strong but a lot less on the scales.

    1. Steel and aluminum are stronger. Have you ever seen what forklift operators do in loading & unloading these trailers. Most fork lifts weigh 3-5 thousand pounds. They are always hitting the container walls. These containers also have 1 x 4 or 1 x 6 strapping to cut down on wall damage. But most containers still have damage.

      Replace metal with carbon fiber and you won’t have dents. You’ll have cracks or holes that weaken the structure.

  2. I call it consolidation right now Swift Knight has a contract with Amazon to move their equipment and because of this Walmart and Costco are losing customers thats where JB Hunt comes in. JB Hunt ships all their trailers to Phoenix and to Alliance Texas major hubs for the retailers. This will work because both Phoenix and Alliance and Bartonville and Marion are close to Costco, Sam’s Club, and Walmart distribution centers and the UP and BNSF yards. This way those boxes can get on a train and be shipped to the ports on time and get reloaded.

  3. Ah yes, the rich get richer, and the best simply get better.

    Mr. Hunt was exactly correct when he said that good partners attract good partners starting with the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe.

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