Union Pacific formally rolls out new service between Laredo, Texas and Memphis, Tenn.

UP said this service will focus on growing transportation needs for the automotive manufacturing and intermodal markets, as the automotive industry continues to rebound and shift production to North America.

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Class I railroad carrier Union Pacific (UP) said this week it has launched a new intermodal service running between Laredo, Texas and Memphis, Tenn.

UP said this service will focus on growing transportation needs for the automotive manufacturing and intermodal markets, as the automotive industry continues to rebound and shift production to North America.

“Union Pacific developed the service based on market trends indicating that manufacturers increasingly are locating vehicle production and auto parts distribution facilities near where they are most likely to be consumed or purchased,” a company spokesperson said in an interview. “In particular, international automotive companies are producing vehicles in North America (Mexico and the southeastern U.S. - Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina) to be consumed in North America. Similarly, auto production parts suppliers often co-locate to these same regions.” 

The Memphis-Laredo offering started November 5, 2013, and was the result of a collaborative effort between Union Pacific’s Marketing & Sales, Service Design and Operating departments to develop a service for the evolving automotive marketplace.

This service is designed specifically to serve automotive companies and suppliers, but also will benefit other manufacturing and retail shippers, the spokesperson said, adding that several customers already are utilizing the service, with additional business in the pipeline.

In terms of benefits this service provides for shippers, the UP spokesperson said that the new Laredo-Memphis service offers customers seamless service six days a week with delivery on the third morning.

“This transportation solution offers truck-competitive transit time with the environmental and economic benefits of rail,” said the spokesperson. “While primarily targeting automotive manufacturers, general manufacturing and retail also can take advantage of the intermodal service.”

When asked if UP plans to roll out similar lanes like this in other parts of the country, the spokesperson said that while no additional lanes are planned at this time, Union Pacific is always evaluating customer needs and market trends to develop services and products that create value for its customers.

“The development of this Laredo-Memphis service lane represents Union Pacific’s commitment to creating innovative products and services to meet the evolving needs of our automotive customers,” said Linda Brandl, vice president of Automotive at Union Pacific, in a statement. “With a truck-competitive transit time, this service allows our automotive manufacturing customers to convert truck shipments to rail with minimal impact to their on-hand inventory of auto parts and the customized racks required to ship them.”


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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Article Topics

Intermodal · Union Pacific · All Topics
Hub Group Resources
Not Your Grandfather's Intermodal
Transportation of freight in containers was first recorded around 1780 to move coal along England’s Bridgewater Canal. However, "modern" intermodal rail service by a major U.S. railroad only dates back to 1936. Malcom McLean’s Sea-Land Service significantly advanced intermodalism, showing how freight could be loaded into a “container” and moved by two or more modes economically and conveniently. As with all new technologies, there were problems that slowed the growth, which influenced many potential customers to shy away from moving intermodal.
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