General Car Order Policy

As demand for our equipment increases, the need for accurate forecasting becomes essential to our success in providing shippers with on-time delivery of empty equipment. The Car Order Policy will improve order accuracy and the efficiency of the fleet by matching equipment supply with true demand.

In the past, Union Pacific has operated without a standardized Car Order Policy. Rules and consistency varied between and within car types. We found these conditions made things difficult, confusing, and inefficient for both our customers and Union Pacific. This policy will provide simplicity, predictability and efficiency.

This policy does not include GCAS, PCAS or REZ1 container orders. These ordering systems remain the same.

  • Customers may place weekly car orders from 7 to 60 days in advance of the want date.
  • Car orders will be accepted for one week time frames only.
  • The car order week time frame is from Sunday (12:01 a.m.) to Saturday (11:59 p.m.).
  • Only one car order can exist for the same equipment type in the same weekly time frame.
    • Multiple orders may be placed for the same week, as long as they are for different car types.
  • Every Saturday at 11:59 p.m., non-applied car orders for the week just ending will expire.
    • This will not impact applied cars on orders, enroute to shippers, but not yet delivered.
    • If some portion of the car order is filled, the car order will be reduced to that number of cars and then closed out.
    • If no cars have been applied to the car order, the car order will expire.
    • Customers will need to re-order cars for unmet demand.
  • Customers may reduce car orders to the number of cars already applied at any time.
  • Customers may increase car orders, as long as 7 days advance notice is given.
  • Any cars returned empty to the railroad due to over-ordering will be subject to a $400 switch charge, provided that these cars are placed or delivered to a customer within +/- 2 days of the want date.

This policy is intended to encourage improved accuracy of orders, which will reduce unnecessary empty miles and repositioning of equipment. By managing weekly time frames, Union Pacific and its customers will benefit by more efficient management of inventory and order files. Our aim is to improve car availability and predictability of delivery for our customers.

If you have any questions regarding the Car Order Policy, please contact your sales representative.