- J.B. Hunt is launching its first West Coast transloading service for international cargo, targeting the Los Angeles and Long Beach areas, the carrier announced last Wednesday.
- The carrier will open a facility in Commerce, a city just outside Los Angeles, that includes a 91,000-square-foot warehouse and parking space for up to 300 containers. J.B. Hunt will transport containers to the complex and transload them into larger, domestic containers to be shipped further inland by truck.
- The facility is located close to port and rail terminals and will be operational in August, J.B. Hunt told Transport Dive. The new service will help address port bottlenecks by streamlining transloading and drayage, the company said.
J.B. Hunt has presented transloading as a solution for shippers looking to bypass port congestion and increase container velocity.
Delays at the Port of Los Angeles have experienced numerous hurdles, with Executive Director Gene Seroka noting last week that over 29,000 aging rail containers are on the dock, a number he says should be at around 9,000. Cargo has sat on average of seven-and a half days but “should be two days of dwell time.”
Transloading has become a more popular option for shippers, as it allows them to bypass large, regional distribution centers and ship directly to a store or fulfillment center. The service can also lead to decreased container costs and faster box turns as it reduces the repositioning of empty containers.
“A transloading model provides customers with a more efficient flow of international containers through the supply chain by eliminating imbalanced moves and turning boxes faster,” Darren Field, president of intermodal and executive vice president at J.B. Hunt, said in a statement.
Noting the service as a growth area, J.B. Hunt opened its first transload service last November in Jersey City, New Jersey, for shippers in the New York metro area.
Like its East Coast operation, J.B. will use its company-owned chassis to assist in transloading operations. By owning its own equipment, the company says it’s in a unique position to offer shippers multiple services as a single provider.
“The increase in import activity over recent years has created a bottleneck at the port, resulting in inefficient delays and rising costs," Shelley Simpson, chief commercial officer and executive vice president of people and human resources at J.B. Hunt, said in the news release. “We are providing customers with a complete solution that not only alleviates those challenges, it can accelerate their ability to meet domestic demand by offering a seamless port, transload, and domestic outbound move.”