Hunt, NS Ink Intermodal Deal

Trucking and intermodal shipment operator J.B. Hunt Transport Services will ship goods via Norfolk Southern Railway under a far-reaching, multi-year contract agreement between the two transportation giants.

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."

Norfolk Southern was competing with rival CSX for the deal that will bring large volumes of business from the country's largest truck provider of intermodal shipments and one of the originators of truck-rail partnership.

Hunt already has a long-term contract with BNSF Railway in the West, and is the largest box customer for that largest of intermodal railroads.

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."

Charles W. Moorman, the chairman, president and CEO of NS, said their agreement gives both parties "shared incentives to grow volume and revenues by converting substantial volumes of freight from highway to rail."

Once known strictly as a truckload carrier, J.B. Hunt now gets the largest share of its revenue and operating profit from intermodal operations. Its intermodal business segment counted $456 million in revenue in the third quarter ending Sept. 30, more than half the $834 million in revenue the company reported.

—By John D. Boyd