December 1, 2023 - TRA Newswire -

Effective today, Union Pacific Railroad expands their international intermodal service from the docks at Port Houston to a total of nine inland markets.

Five pervious inland terminals are now joined by direct links from the on-dock Barbours Cut Container Terminal in Houston to Chicago Global 4; Kansas City; Marion, AR for the Memphis region and Port Laredo. 

Previously, containers were trucked about 30 miles to UP's Settegast terminal and loaded onto rail cars. Not only will this new service reduce shipping times but will also remove more trucks hauling containers from Houston's congested highway system. 

In a news release, UP indicated "in cooperation with Port Houston, ocean carriers and Beneficial Cargo Owners (BCO) will have access to rail service between Barbours Cut Container Terminal at Port Houston and nine key Union Pacific-served markets. The on-dock operation will save customers' time, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and simplify the end-to-end supply chain for all of our customers."

Port Houston consists of some 200 industrial terminals, both public and private, along a 25 mile long stretch of the Houston Ship Channel. The Barbours Cut container terminal is one of eight public terminals that are operated, owned, managed or leased by the Port of Houston Authority.

Earlier this year UP started dockside service to markets in Denver, Oakland, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and El Paso. 

This comes at the same time the railroad announced it was establishing a new intermodal terminal in Phoenix. The terminal, scheduled to open by spring 2024 will handle shipments from southern California. "The new service will allow customers to convert long-haul truck traffic to rail, saving 380 miles of truck miles between the Los Angeles Basin to Phoenix. Moving freight by train instead of truck reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 75%," according to a UP news release.

Photo credit: Union Pacific