Infrastructure Fuels J. B. Hunt Intermodal

by Andrew Jensen  on Monday, Apr. 7, 2008 12:00 am  

According to the AAR, in 1980 rail could move a ton of freight 253 miles on a gallon of fuel. By 2006, that number improved 80 percent to 423 miles per ton per gallon.

The AAR notes that if an additional 10 percent of truck volume were shifted to intermodal, the annual savings would top 1 billion gallons of fuel.

Bergant said J.B. Hunt’s fuel surcharges are 50 percent less for intermodal versus OTR and the base cost is 10 percent to 15 percent less as well.

The US DOT estimates that increasing highway congestion costs the economy $63.1 billion per year, and clogs across all modes of transportation may be as high as $200 billion.

That congestion is contributing to the increase in logistics costs that began in 2004, reversing a downward trend over the previous 23 years. As a percent of GDP, logistics costs have increased from a 25-year low of 8.6 percent in 2003 to 9.9 percent in 2006. Logistics were 16 percent of GDP in 1980.

“It’s not often you can find ways to reduce logistics costs on short hauls, but converting from truck to rail is one of those great opportunities,” Bergant said. “It makes a lot of sense and at the end of the day, what makes sense is what’s going to work.”





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