The operation continues to focus on generating improved service performance as we manage strong volume and a high number of trains operating on the system. Overall velocity for all trains was steady versus the prior week while the number of total trains held remains at an elevated level. Total weekly volume moved by the railroad again exceeded the 200,000-unit level for the 19th out of 24 reporting weeks in 2018.
BNSF is always evaluating the most effective allocation of network resources to handle increased freight demands and deliver the service that our customers expect. With some holiday-related volume reductions expected during the first week of July, our operations teams will look for opportunities to improve velocity while preparing for robust post-holiday traffic flows.
Addressing Chicago Area Congestion
Several recent service interruptions have impacted the timing of train arrivals at Chicago area facilities, which has caused a backlog and extended transit times. In response, BNSF has taken immediate steps to improve production levels, including the diverting of some freight to alternate facilities in the Chicago area. Please click here for more information on the shipment tracking tools enabling you to verify the location of your container for pick-up. We also encourage customers to pick up shipments as promptly as possible, which will help reduce high inventories as well as improve overall traffic flow at these facilities.
Independence Day Holiday Operating Plan
BNSF will continue to operate Intermodal trains over the Independence Day, July 4, holiday. However, due to lighter volumes of traffic and possible train consolidations, we anticipate that outbound and inbound shipments from Tuesday, July 3 through noon on Thursday, July 5 may experience delays of up to 24 hours. Most intermodal facilities will operate normally on Independence Day; a complete list of hub schedules can be found here.
Connecting carriers who have reduced operations for the holiday may cause delays on interline traffic. Customer Support will provide normal coverage on the days surrounding the holiday and will maintain a limited staff on Independence Day.
We also want to re-emphasize the importance of working together to reduce the amount of time that your container/trailer dwells at a BNSF facility, which will improve overall traffic flow and lift capabilities to support growth.
Service Expectations for the Week Ahead
No significant service interruptions due to weather are expected at this time as much of the network will experience favorable operating conditions. Extreme heat will remain in the desert Southwest with high temperatures near 120 degrees in some areas. We are watching these conditions closely and will take appropriate actions as necessary to ensure safety.
During the upcoming week, major maintenance activity will continue in several locations across the network, particularly along our primary route between northwest Montana and western Washington. In our South Region, some trains may experience delays through central Oklahoma during nighttime work windows as rail replacement work continues on our Red Rock Subdivision.
Below is a look at the key operational performance categories for the week ending June 21:
Total trains held for the week increased by more than 13 percent with an average of 128.4 trains held versus 113.6 trains held during the prior week.
Versus the June 2017 average: up by 73.8%
Total trains on the system was essentially unchanged versus the prior week with an average of 1,594 trains on the system.
Versus the June 2017 average: up by 10.6%
Car velocity, measured in miles per day (MPD), was down by more than two percent at 203.6 MPD versus 208.6 MPD recorded the prior week.
Versus the June 2017 average: down by 3.7%
Train velocity, measured in miles per hour (MPH), was essentially unchanged versus the prior week at 17.1 MPH.
Versus the June 2017 average: down by 6.4%
Total volume was down by nearly one percent from the prior week with 209,236 units moved in Week 24 (ending June 16) versus 211,065 units in Week 23 (ending June 9).
Terminal dwell was up by more than two percent versus the prior week at 26.4 hours.
Versus the June 2017 average: up by 0.7%
As always, we thank you for your business and appreciate the opportunity to serve as your transportation service provider. We welcome your feedback and questions.