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UP is 'living up' to commitments at L.A., Long Beach ports, railroad officials say

Since May, Union Pacific Railroad has been meeting intermodal demand at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, even as the fall peak season dawned, UP officials said in a statement released yesterday.

Most containers that are not processed at the ports' docks are moved to UP's ICTF terminal, where trains have been running full tilt since Labor Day, officials said.

"Contrary to recent reports that blame Union Pacific for ship delays at southern California ports, we've been keeping up with demand since Memorial Day," said Randy Blackburn, UP vice president of premium operations. "We are handling record numbers of shipments, so trains sometimes don't depart as scheduled, but we catch up quickly."

UP needs five intermodal trains to carry one vessel's 2,250 40-foot containers. It's the dock operator's responsibility to unload and transfer containers to waiting trains, and the railroad's responsibility to ensure cars, locomotives and crews are in place, officials said.

"We've made commitments to our customers at the on-dock terminals to not get behind, and we're living up to it," said Blackburn. "We prioritize the on-dock process to make sure customers get their cars and locomotives."

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More News from 11/5/2004