A temporary halt by Union Pacific (UP) to rail shipments of international containers from the US west coast ports in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland and Tacoma will come to an end early next week, said UP chief executive Lance Fritz. The pause on shipments to UP’s Global IV facility in Chicago began on July 18, and was expected to last for a week.
Announcing the halt, a UP spokeswoman said, “We believe this change will allow the transportation supply chain to begin working off the backlog of Global IV destined trains, while freeing up railcar assets to support import loading needs on the West Coast.” UP was at that time experiencing significant congestion at its inland intermodal terminals, most notably in Chicago, she said.
Fritz confirmed in an interview with Reuters on Thursday that the backlog is clearing. “I anticipate in the seven-day period … we should get back down to a reasonable kind of a normal backlog of stack containers,” he said.