- Union Pacific will open a new intermodal terminal in Phoenix to provide a sustainable rail service option to the San Pedro Bay ports complex, the railroad announced Nov. 29.
- The service targets regional shippers and receivers seeking a fast and sustainable rail option to move goods in and out of southern California, EVP of Marketing and Sales Kenny Rocker said in a statement.
- The new terminal is expected to begin service early next year, according to the announcement.
Union Pacific described the new service as “the first of its kind” between the Los Angeles Basin and Phoenix, and said the terminal would be set up at the railroad’s downtown Phoenix rail yard.
“Union Pacific sees an opportunity with this new terminal to convert truck traffic to rail between the Los Angeles Basin and the Southeast region,” Spokesperson Robynn Tysver said in an email to Supply Chain Dive. The service will remove tens of thousands of trucks from the road annually.
The San Pedro Bay ports complex is roughly a 6-hour drive from downtown Phoenix, according to Google Maps, or a day’s work for the average long-haul trucker. Railroads and intermodal providers, however, have been trying to woo shippers to convert from truck-to-rail for years with the promise of low emissions.
“Union Pacific estimates this new service product could help shippers avoid 25,214 metric tons of GHG emissions annually,” Tysver said.
Additionally, shippers requiring transport for bulky items now have “a heavyweight intermodal option for export goods from Arizona, and the growing Southeast U.S. region to the L.A. ports,” she said.
The railroad said its new facility will open with drayage support from Duncan and Son Lines, a family-owned logistics firm in Buckeye, Arizona, which specializes in international container drayage from the San Pedro Bay ports complex. Duncan and Son Lines owns more than 3,000 intermodal chassis.