It’s been talked about for a while but the talking is over. J.B. Hunt Transport Services did a major deal with Norfolk Southern Railway. According to the Journal of Commerce (November 6, 2009):
Hunt said the accord “will further establish the parties as the leading providers of transcontinental and local intermodal service in the eastern half of the United States.”
The new deal with NS, the trucker said, gives both partners “a platform to accelerate the conversion of traditional truck traffic to cost effective, environmentally friendly intermodal transportation with service that is competitive with truckload moves.”
It makes great sense (not that the folks at the two companies need affirmation from this quarter). But if one thinks in total system terms, they are only making use of two-thirds of the surface system capability. They are using only one-half of the available high capacity, high efficiency modes.
If the maritime stakeholders make the effort to fix Federal policy and put the U.S. Flag in fighting trim it’s only a matter of time before a Hunt or a Schneider–or, yes, a CSX–will do a deal with, or acquire, a “Blue Water Transport”. The press release will tout…
“a new deal that gives partners a platform to accelerate the transition of traditional land mode traffic to cost effective, environmentally friendly intermodal transportation with service that is competitive with coastal corridor moves along the congested interstate highway.”
It will be the starting shot. Pbea