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J B Hunt acquires Walmart chassis fleets and intermodal containers

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J B Hunt acquires Walmart chassis fleets and intermodal containers
Posted by diningcar on Friday, February 23, 2024 9:46 AM

This will certainly contribute to BNSF's domination in intermodal traffic.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, February 23, 2024 9:57 AM

J B Hunt is the best thing that happened to BNSF over the years.  They appear to have first-rate customer service which attracts more business.

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Posted by AuTiger19 on Friday, February 23, 2024 11:51 AM

I wonder if JB Hunt will repaint the containers fully or just pur their reporting marks on them and leave the Walmart graphics on the sides. 

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Posted by Backshop on Friday, February 23, 2024 1:10 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if they don't just keep using them for Walmart business.  JBH seems to do a lot of their hauling, even though it's a small percentage of the Walmart business.  

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Posted by rixflix on Friday, February 23, 2024 5:59 PM

They'd want to keep Walmart markings to avoid having lift operators trying to place the boxes on the incompatible Hunt chassis.

rixflix aka Captain Video. Blessed be Jean Shepherd and all His works!!! Hooray for 1939, the all time movie year!!! I took that ride on the Reading but my Baby caught the Katy and left me a mule to ride.

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Posted by aegrotatio on Saturday, February 24, 2024 10:02 AM

rixflix

They'd want to keep Walmart markings to avoid having lift operators trying to place the boxes on the incompatible Hunt chassis.

 

 

Interesting.  I thought intermodal standards were universal?

 

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Saturday, February 24, 2024 5:11 PM

aegrotatio

 

 
rixflix

They'd want to keep Walmart markings to avoid having lift operators trying to place the boxes on the incompatible Hunt chassis.

 

 

 

 

Interesting.  I thought intermodal standards were universal?

 

 

J B Hunt has a propreitary chassis and container setup. This is due to their equipment being customized for lighter tare weight, than standard domestic con/chassis combos. J B Hunt chassis have a narrower neck past the tandem's, than standard domestic chassis. Which means their containers have a narrower funnel to fit the chassis neck.

Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Saturday, February 24, 2024 5:18 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

J B Hunt is the best thing that happened to BNSF over the years.  They appear to have first-rate customer service which attracts more business.

 

The jury is still out on that one. Going back to the ATSF days alot of IMC's were pushed out of the network. The Quantum agreement eventually moved BNSF to eliminate rail controlled equipment.

Today any IMC who wants to ship BNSF has to use an (IEP) intermodal equipment providers such as; Run Rail, COFC Logistics, Unit 53, Twin Logistics, and a few others.. However this doesn't really change the dynamic, as the Quantum agreement gives JBH priority; slot, availability, and reservations. With the exception of UPS and some LTL carriers.. Also some of the IEP's lack equipment in certain lanes, or don't provide equipment in other lanes. Run Rail for example doesn't have equipment in or serve the Denver market. Even then they may have very limited equpiment available for IMC's.

I'm not entirely against the wholesale IM model, but it leaves a considerate portion of value (profit) on the table, that the Class 1's lose out on..

Anyhow, if you're an IMC. Union Pacific is your best bet with the EMP/UMAX pools. Which have been performing quite well recently with ultilization.

Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, February 26, 2024 4:55 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH
They appear to have first-rate customer service which attracts more business.

Consulted with JB Hunt in the past, they have a nice HQ even though it is in the middle of nowhere, USA.   At that time they were oogling over the BNSF website and were enamored with it's intuitiveness and ability to track shipments, they wanted my employer to produce a similar CRM based website for them using the BNSF website as a sort of template.    So they do like some of the client relationship aspects and approach by BNSF.    

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Posted by rdamon on Monday, February 26, 2024 7:13 PM

"middle of nowhere, USA"

12 Miles from Walmart's HQ

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Posted by timz on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 1:25 PM

SD60MAC9500
J B Hunt chassis have a narrower neck past the tandem's, than standard domestic chassis. Which means their containers have a narrower funnel to fit the chassis neck.

Criminy! That saves enough weight make unstandardizing the system worthwhile?

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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 2:22 PM

timz
 
SD60MAC9500
J B Hunt chassis have a narrower neck past the tandem's, than standard domestic chassis. Which means their containers have a narrower funnel to fit the chassis neck.

 Criminy! That saves enough weight make unstandardizing the system worthwhile?

Probably more a matter of saving money than saving weight...

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Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 2:51 PM

rdamon
12 Miles from Walmart's HQ

Yup, been in Walmart HQ as well.  Bentonville, AK.   If you never have been there I would avoid it.    Back when I was consulting the Airport only had 2 gates.    It probably has expanded by now but I always used to laugh when the pilot came on the PA and said "We are currently number 1 for takeoff".    Almost everytime I heard that..........too funny.Big Smile

Walmart HQ looks like a large Walmart itself because they used the same building materials and paint to save money........lol.

I will say this and back on topic, Walmart trucking or more than one distribution center there........not sure which but Walmart trucking had a presence in Bentonville, acres and acres of Semi's and trailers, it was impressive.

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Posted by York1 on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 3:43 PM

CMStPnP
Walmart HQ looks like a large Walmart itself because they used the same building materials and paint to save money........lol.

 

Maybe they know what they're doing.

 

York1 John       

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Posted by Backshop on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 3:52 PM

Biggest does not always equate to "best". Just like UP isn't probably the best Class One, although I believe it's the biggest. If I had to work at any of those retailers, I'd pick Costco.

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Posted by York1 on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 7:13 PM

Backshop
Biggest does not always equate to "best".

 

I didn't intend to say they were the "best".  I intended to say that maybe they know what they're doing.  While many look down on them, they continue to rake in the money.

York1 John       

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 9:40 PM

Actually it costs them more as their stuff is custom to their specifications unlike standard shipping containers which only have the one chassis shape.  The only thing it does insure is this no shortage of chassis for JB Hunt driver's as standard procedure is take an empty into the intermodal yard with you and get your container loaded there.  Also the combination weight on their chassis and containers is around 19k around 7k pounds more than a standard 53 foot trailer.  What I'm almost willing to take a bet on is that Walmart is wanting to get rid of their own trucks and driver's that cost them a fortune in pay and benefits.  Better to let JB Hunt run all the logistics for your stores.  Heck they dang near run all the beer out of Budweiser as it is now.  

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Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, February 29, 2024 11:26 PM

York1
Maybe they know what they're doing.

No they are just cheap.   Thats why their HQ is in Bentonville, AK.    JB Hunt has nice offices and all but they were cheap too, most trucking companies are.   The only regret I had with Walmart though is I could not sing the Walmart song in the morning when everyone started work because I was not an employee I was just a contractor........gull darn!!!

I just became a Walmart stockholder last week before the 3 for 1 split.   Yes they made a smart move with the recent VIZIO buy.

I still remember the first day at JB Hunt.  "Lets all go out to lunch.....our treat"............they took us to Chik-Fil-A.     This was before my first Waffle House moment on a railfan trip so it was kind of a shock.Big Smile

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Posted by croteaudd on Friday, March 1, 2024 3:44 AM

It has to be wondered if the recent announcement of Walmart’s elimination customer self-checkouts has anything to do with this, i.e., J. B. Hunt buying Walmart containers.   J. B. Hunt containers are kind of incognito, but Walmart containers shout out, ‘Hey thieves, rob me!’

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Posted by York1 on Friday, March 1, 2024 6:41 AM

CMStPnP
 
York1
Maybe they know what they're doing.

York1 John       

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Posted by Backshop on Friday, March 1, 2024 9:33 AM

croteaudd

It has to be wondered if the recent announcement of Walmart’s elimination customer self-checkouts has anything to do with this, i.e., J. B. Hunt buying Walmart containers.   J. B. Hunt containers are kind of incognito, but Walmart containers shout out, ‘Hey thieves, rob me!’

 

What does customer self-checkout have to do with shipping containers?

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, March 1, 2024 9:44 AM

York1
Got it.  So in 50 years they have grown into the world's largest retailer without knowing what they are doing.  I guess it was just luck.

My point was on company culture which drives everything else.   I have no idea what "know what they are doing" covers exactly because you can fall under that umbrella and still lose your company to competition.   Ask Sears.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, March 1, 2024 9:46 AM

Backshop
What does customer self-checkout have to do with shipping containers?

What does sales have to do with shipping?    Is that your question?   Because it is fundamental to both this thread and the shipping (ie: railroad) industry's existence.

The more efficiently I can sell, the CHEAPer my products are, the more volume I can sell, the more I need to ship.    That one lesson should be fundamental to shipping employees because it also drives client satisfaction with the shipper itself.

The faster and more efficient a railroad is with switching moves and the shipment the lower cost it is to ship the product.   A cost of shipping a product is not just the price paid for shipping, it is the revenue and time value of money loss while that product sits in unsold inventory.    So selection of the shipper itself if it is a shipper whose employees really do not care or are just there for a paycheck...........can cost serious additional money to the shipper beyond the shipping cost paid out.

On a very related point the 3 for 1 stock split for Walmart was about sales it was not done for wealthy investors so they can work over the hard working blue collar guy.  It was done so more Walmart employees working with CHEAP per hour rates can afford to buy the stock via the stock purchase plan.   In return Walmart management expects additional motivation on the sales floor.   Which translates into increased shipments if it happens.    You can read the public statement by Management of Walmart......it is very clear what the intent was.

On the containers themselves (responding to croteaudd).   Walmart is retail, JB Hunt is shipping.   Lets see, how many retail store clients are there in the United States vs Shipping Clients.    I will promote my brand accordingly was probably the decisions made there.

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Posted by croteaudd on Friday, March 1, 2024 11:30 AM

Backshop:

BOTH, while well intended, were costly and colossal failures.

If everybody was righteous (a perfect world), self-checkout and advertising on containers would work as intended.  But, historically, people generally have a predisposition to be rotten and wicked.

Hence, they have difficulty in seeing other people’s viewpoints, the ‘ME FIRST” perspective, and that ultimately leads to violence and the collapse of a civilization and has been proven over and over again. 

So, reality and cause-and-effect connects BOTH self-checkout and container advertising together!

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Posted by Backshop on Friday, March 1, 2024 12:32 PM

That's funny, Kroger has self-checkout and it's a success.  It must be the Walmart clientele.  I couldn't tell you since I won't set foot in Walmart.

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Posted by York1 on Friday, March 1, 2024 1:21 PM

CMStPnP
My point was on company culture which drives everything else.   I have no idea what "know what they are doing" covers exactly because you can fall under that umbrella and still lose your company to competition.   Ask Sears.

 

Sears went under precisely because they didn't know the new market.  They didn't know what they were doing.

Anyone going into a Sears or Kmart after Sears bought them could see it.

York1 John       

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, March 1, 2024 1:39 PM

Yikes! Onto another thread.Indifferent

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 1, 2024 1:50 PM

Wait a minute... why the hell would Walmart abandon their self-checkouts after just spending what is probably a fair amount on putting new scanners and signage in all the stores I've been in over the past couple of years -- as far north as the Lake Erie shore, as far south as panhandle Florida?

I won't wait in a Walmart line for some poor employee who was forced to do checkout duty (and take responsibility for the register) -- I go to the first available spot, gun my items ( there are sometimes a couple that you have to run past the laser scanner rather than the laser gun, but that doesn't take long) and then trot my stuff out past "exit security" which is one guy or gal checking a great many parallel stations.

I carefully studied Walmart's program to implement and then maintain and upgrade their stockkeeping and computerized checkout systems.  As far as I remember, Sam Walton was a very early adopter of integration between POS and restocking -- every SKU had a minimum stock quantity, and very simple boilerplate reports on a regular basis would cue even untrained minimum-wage people to order restock quantity and then track the progress of warehouse pulling, transportation, and shelving.  The store manager could pull fairly comprehensive reports of how the stock was selling seasonally or at particular times, and from that the company was able to build systems that could predict how to shift stock quantities, or adjust shelving or departments, to allow Walmart to do its job.

Which is the same kind of money pump as a convenience store.  Typical inventory in one of those was no more than about $35,000 a decade or so ago (and wouldn't be that much more than that now).   But a good savvy C-store owner might be able to take several million off the repeated turn over the course of the year -- and the faster he could get items to sell, and the faster he then restocked what sold, increased the effective velocity of money going through.

Now, it should be said that I don't have much faith in the Walton heirs' ability to actually run the organization effectively, let alone keep the thing finely tuned... in fact if anything I see some of the same slackadaisical attitude as in 'wrong PSR' increasingly -- weird reorganization that makes no sense every few years, a decline in the actual shelf space done to pretend fewer items need to be stocked, frequent and sometimes protracted absence of product that is usually chalked up to 'problems with the logistics chain' or some similar excuse.  But I can't imagine any management so stupid as to de-emphasize camera-monitored self-checkout backed up by quick front-end and outside security... especially when there are so many shoplifting problems at attended checkouts whose people are officially told not to interfere with scams, flight, or the threat of violence.

Something Walmart is NOT is a customer-service-driven company on any level.  Most of the people in there aren't being paid to carefully attend to customer wants in the clothing department, or take customers personally to the area where they ask questions about (as for example in a Whole Foods).  You go to Walmart solely because you know what you want, and you want it as cheap and quick in one place as possible, and you want out in the absolute minimum time you can manage.  If you wait in one of the increasingly few checkout lines that are attended, it's probably because you have carts full of crap that you don't want to have to marshal and bag by yourself -- and that's not really a 'customer service' skill any more than it was in Updike's A&P days.

Incidentally, all the Krogers around here not only have sections of self-checkout, there are getting to be times of day that the ONLY checkouts are self-checikouts, with a couple of people kinda orbiting around the customer-service checkout station at each group of self-checkouts that come over to check why the system has detected what it thinks is an attempt at fraud, or to reset something locked up.  To me that works just fine... and saves quite a bit of potential wages for people stuck behind belt after belt of relatively mindless swiping and gunning the length of a miserable shift.

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Posted by tree68 on Friday, March 1, 2024 4:45 PM

Overmod
Wait a minute... why the hell would Walmart abandon their self-checkouts after just spending what is probably a fair amount on putting new scanners and signage in all the stores I've been in over the past couple of years -- as far north as the Lake Erie shore, as far south as panhandle Florida?

The impression that I've gotten about Walmart, and everyone else who is cutting back on self checkouts, is that the losses due to shoplifting are starting to compare evenly with the savings from not having cashiers.

Two places I regularly shop - a regional grocery chain and a big-box home improvement store, still offer both.  There is always an attendant at the self checkouts, however, to assist.  That's truly the case at the home improvement store - essentially there's one person manning a half dozen self checkouts, and they will jump in at the first indication you're having an issue.

For myself, it depends on what I'm getting, and my mood.  Sometimes it's nice to just put stuff on the belt and let the cashier handle it.  If it's just a few small items, I'll check myself out.

The home improvement store mans a checkout where lumber and the like is regularly handled - I'll often go there.  

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, March 1, 2024 5:36 PM

Overmod
Wait a minute... why the hell would Walmart abandon their self-checkouts after just spending what is probably a fair amount on putting new scanners and signage in all the stores I've been in over the past couple of years -- as far north as the Lake Erie shore, as far south as panhandle Florida?

I have been snowbirding in NE Florida - outside of WalMart - Publix and Winn-Dixie are the largest 'independent' grocers.  At least at the Publix I frequent there are NO self check-out lanes, additional each open lane in addition to the 'register operator' there is also a bagger.  At the Winn-Dixie I frequent there are four self check-out kiosks.  If you use a conventional register you still have to bag your own.

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