International Chassis Storage Update

Announcement Number: IM2019-8
Categories: International Miscellaneous,All Intermodal
Posted Date: January 4, 2019


Dear International Intermodal Customer, 

As follow up to our customer communication that was sent on December 20, 2018, there is significant chassis tightness in several key markets as the heavy surge of imports that landed on the U.S. West Coast prior to the New Year continues to flow to the inland terminals. Currently, tightness of international chassis at our DIT (Dallas), Marion (Memphis), Global 4 (Chicago), Dupo (St. Louis), and Englewood (Houston) terminals are forcing us to ground and stack containers waiting for chassis. The circumstance at each terminal is slightly different and not each chassis pool is deficit; however each terminal is being impacted.  

We encourage you to continue to work with your respective chassis provider to ensure there is a comprehensive chassis supply plan. There is still considerable import freight at the west coast ports, so we expect heavy volumes to continue at the inland terminals for several weeks. Given that we expect to have to continue to stack some containers at various inland terminals over the next several weeks, Union Pacific is making some changes to both improve your customer experience as well as ensure our terminals remain fluid. 

Visibility Improvements 

Early next week, we plan to provide visibility to which containers are stacked versus on chassis through some changes to our location reporting. 

These changes will include the following: 

1) As you (or any other party to the container waybill) trace a container that is at an inland terminal, any boxes that are stacked will now show a parking location of "STACK". 

2) You should NOT send drivers for any boxes in "STACK" status as they will be unavailable for pickup. 

3) Once the stacked containers have been put on chassis and are available for pickup, Union Pacific will renotify the customer that the container is available for pickup. 

Operational Changes 

1) Any drayage provider coming in with a chassis will be unable to pick up a stacked container (ie, no "cherry picking"). 

2) For any containers that are grounded, Union Pacific will make its best effort to place oldest containers on chassis first. 

Temporary Storage Charge Changes 

We recognize that the entire international intermodal supply chain is being challenged during this time of unprecedented freight. To support efficient movement of the most accessible freight, Union Pacific will temporarily make a change to it's storage program at current locations where we are stacking containers. Beginning at 12:01am on Monday, January 7, Union Pacific will temporarily adjust our storage charge program at DIT, Marion, Global 4, Dupo, and Englewood to maintain a consistent $100 per day storage charge for all applicable chargeable days. Charges will not go up the $200 per day charge on the sixth chargeable day. Union Pacific will maintain this approach as long as we deem necessary. We appreciate our customers working with us to continue to move freight as efficiently and quickly as we can off the ramps and will monitor each ramp on a customer basis. 

The changes above currently only apply to marine containers at the International Intermodal terminals addressed above. We will add other terminals as needed and inform you of any additional changes. 

We appreciate your cooperation as we mutually work through this volume surge. We believe the changes we are making will help with your planning ability and ultimately your customer experience. Please call your Union Pacific sale representative with any additional questions.