Union Pacific (UP) recently announced in a notice to customers that it is updating its current intermodal reservation system—with a projected release next month—to “improve ease of use while also improving reservation utilization through technology and better processes” as the railroad continues its transition to PSR (Precision Scheduled Railroading).
In August, UP aims to unveil its new Intermodal Terminal Reservation System (ITR) to replace its Gate Reservation System (GRS), allowing for better planning of drays and in-gates. ITR has been designed with an enhanced user interface and visible “choice-ology” for day-of-week capacity by service product, which UP hopes will “provide a more precise supply chain process when accessing its intermodal terminals.”
ITR will be implemented on Aug. 6, 2019 for gate cutoffs on Aug. 12 and thereafter. All reservations for gate cutoffs prior to Aug. 12 must be made in GRS. Implementation of “accessorial fees and credits,” as described below, will not begin until Sept. 3, 2019.
Since the mid-2000s, UP has utilized GRS to manage ramp inventory at West Coast intermodal terminals. GRS allocates reservations to customers, creating connectivity to actual train capacity.
UP noted that the following are key points with regards to the ITR system:
- ITR will feature “a refreshed, superior user interface with color-coded capacity by day of the week and mobile-friendly accessibility.”
- ITR will replace GRS at six intermodal terminals on the West Coast: East Los Angeles, LATC, City of Industry, Lathrop, Brooklyn and TacSim. In the future, UP says it will roll out ITR at additional domestic terminals to “deliver a consistent experience across the UP network.”
- Because ITR “will more closely tie customer reservations to train capacity and terminal fluidity,” UP says it is implementing an accessorial fee for no-show and canceled reservation requests. A reservation canceled less than 24 hours prior to gate cutoff will be assessed a $25 fee. A reservation requested, not utilized and not canceled will be assessed a $50 no-show fee, which applies to any reservations where the unit is not in-gated by gate cutoff time. There is no accessorial fee for reservations canceled 24 hours or more prior to cutoff. To ensure a “reciprocal system,” UP will apply a $100 credit for each individual unit that in-gates before cutoff and does not depart on its corresponding train. Application of this credit will be calculated and applied by lane. Credits will be applied to fees accrued during the monthly billing period, and will not carry over to the following month to be paid out.
- Lane-specific reservations will be allowed up to seven days in advance of cutoff.
- Each customer with intermodal reservation system activity will receive a monthly statement outlining the activity and cumulative balance due.
- UP’s Master Intermodal Transportation Agreement (MITA)will be updated to reflect these fees and credits.