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Union Pacific Railroad yesterday announced additional steps aimed at reducing the supply chain backlog and speeding up the flow of goods to and from the West Coast ports.
To encourage weekend in-gates and reduce backlog at the ports, UP will run a pilot program through Dec. 31, offering a $60 per container refund to its ocean carrier customers for each container in-gated on Saturdays and Sundays at its near-port intermodal container transfer facility (ICTF) in Long Beach, California.
The refund will apply to containers in-gated incremental to each customer's current 2021 weekend average, UP officials said in a press release.
UP recently increased gate access to 24/7 at ICTF, adding 20 weekend hours and providing customers with greater opportunities to move freight in and out. The move supports the ports of Los Angeles’ and Long Beach’s recent move to 24/7 operations.
The refund is another example of Class I's continued efforts to find creative solutions to ease supply chain congestion, company officials said. Other steps UP has taken include the reopening of its Global III terminal outside Chicago and its Englewood terminal in Houston, providing additional inland storage capacity. UP has also shuttled freight to less stressed terminals within the same metroplex to maximize freight availability for its customers.
With the nationwide driver shortage being a key factor in the congestion, UP is leveraging technology with its UPGo app to decrease the time it takes a driver to drop off and pick up intermodal containers, and UP is utilizing subsidiary drayage capacity through its LOUP subsidiary to help shippers.