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Chicago rail disruptions spread to Minnesota on chassis shortage

MAJOR US railway Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) trains destined for St Paul, Minnesota have stopped outside the terminal until enough trucked chassis can become available, reports IHS Media

24 January 2021 - 19:00
MAJOR US railway Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) trains destined for St Paul, Minnesota have stopped outside the terminal until enough trucked chassis can become available, reports IHS Media.

Chassis shortage, disruption to beneficial cargo owners (BCOs), and a Chicago congestion are the main factors behind containers for shipper facilities in Minnesota being idled.



The chassis problem in the Minnesota cities are a direct result of what's happening in Chicago, as the Minnesota cities are the largest rail rub in the US.



'To date, TRAC has added almost 400 chassis into this market. Given the unprecedented demand curve and the increase in street dwell, we are still encountering capacity constraints. We are working with all parties to move the cargo as efficiently as possible,' said DirectChassis Link (DCLI).



DCLI declared its facing record-breaking container volumes in Chicago. The dwell time for BCOs to return chassis is 30 per cent higher than in 2020.



BNSF said equipment has been brought into the St Paul terminal to place containers into stacks while TRAC addresses the chassis shortage.



'BNSF recognises that this shortage creates disruptions for our customers and will continue to work with the chassis providers to resolve this issue,' said the railway.



A dispatcher declared the impact on BCOs' bottom lines have been mitigated by BNSF despite the lack of chassis.



'You have customers calling asking for their freight, and you have to tell them the same thing you told them two weeks ago. I have called down to BNSF asking if we can pick up containers on the ground if we bring in our own chassis, but the ops manager told me that I would have to wait until containers are wheel-mounted,' said a dispatcher.


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