We're the rail industry leader in intermodal transportation, which involves freight in trailers or containers that are interchanged with trucks or ships.
We were a pioneer in the use of intermodal transportation and are still the rail industry leader. Once called "piggyback," this type of transportation involves freight in trailers or containers that are interchanged with trucks, ships or other modes. Our intermodal service contributes to the reduction of traffic congestion and vehicle emissions. One BNSF intermodal train can take several hundred trucks off the highways, reducing congestion and emissions.
Truck trailers or cargo containers from ships are loaded directly onto railcars. We transport them between intermodal facilities or "hubs." The freight is then picked up and trucked to its final destination.
A significant percentage of intermodal freight starts overseas, including from Asia, although we also have a substantial domestic intermodal business. Intermodal transportation is very efficient, because the freight is loaded only once at its origin into a container or trailer and unloaded only once at its destination. This approach reduces cargo handling, improves security, reduces damages and losses, and allows freight to be transported more quickly and reliably.