LOS ANGELES — Union Pacific, the Port of Long Beach, and the Utah Inland Port Authority have announced the launch of direct rail service between the Long Beach and Utah facilities to help address ongoing port congestion.
The executive directors of the two facilities, Mario Cordero of Long Beach and Jack Hedge of the Utah authority, said in a joint statement that the direct, regularly scheduled service “will allow cargo destined for all of the Intermountain West to be rapidly evacuated from terminals in Long Beach to Salt Lake City for further distribution throughout the region. Much of this cargo traditionally moves to Utah, Colorado, Nevada, and Idaho by truck, and thus must be removed from the port terminals one container at a time. Reengaging this direct rail service will allow removal of blocks of containers at a time.”
Cordero also said the agreement immediately reduces pressure on terminal storage, gates, chassis, and the local drayage community on the coast. … It’s a major step forward for exporters from the region.”
Hasan Hyder, Union Pacific’s general director of intermodal, said in a press release that the railroad’s Salt Lake City facilities “offer a perfect relief value for some of the current port congestion and open a new world of services for companies across the region.”
The Utah authority has also announced its participation in the Intelligent Crossroads Network, a private 5G and artificial intelligence network. Developed in partnership with Quay Chain Technologies, the network will allow cargo tracking, monitoring, and planning. Hedge said the two ports agree current supply-chain issues reveal the need for “new ways of doing business and solutions that combine exsiting resources and new technologies. The ICN allows for the most digitally connected logistics experience possible in the supply chain.”