Owner Op looking to get into intermodal

Discussion in 'Intermodal Trucking Forum' started by Failedownerop, Nov 14, 2022.

  1. Failedownerop

    Failedownerop Bobtail Member

    Nov 12, 2022
    Is there a way to get into intermodal with no intermodal experience as an owner op?
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  3. lual

    lual Road Train Member

    Oct 22, 2020
    SW Georgia
    I ran intermodal with Schneider, back during the main part of covid.

    The "big dogs" in intermodal are Schneider, and Swift.

    Either of those should be able to get you started.

    BEWARE: Your intermodal experience will be either good--or bad--depending on how the rail or shipyard you work has their act together (or doesn't).

    You can waste A LOOOOOOOTTT OF TIME waiting to in-gate, out-gate...and/or waiting for a crane to put your container on a chassis.

    You'll waste still more time...if the container isn't mounted on the chassis correctly (and thus, needs to be adjusted).

    You'll also need good backing skills. Some yards have pretty tight parking.

    As an owner-op, you well know that "time is money".

    First--I recommend you talk to other drivers who are working the rail or shipyards you have in mind.

    Find out if the yard(s) in question work things efficiently--or are instead a fustercluck.

    Then talk to Schneider or Swift from there.

    Bigtruckdrivah, TruckrWnnaB and Judge Thank this.
  4. Judge

    Judge Road Train Member

    Mar 19, 2014
    Newport, Ar
    I agree, example of wasted time.
    Took a tanker load of fuel additives, class 3 flammable.
    Ingate said my placards were wrong, i told them I had them up high, for their 20’ cars as required.
    They said it was supposed to be a class 8 corrosive.

    I told them they were wrong, you could wash your hands with this as long as you didn’t have fire nearby.
    So i sat outside the property(CSX Memphis turns you around) for 10 hours.
    I got paid after 1 hour but lost another good load due to someone billing the load wrong.

    This happens a bunch.
    Speed_Drums Thanks this.
  5. Milr72

    Milr72 Medium Load Member

    Dec 16, 2011
    S W Missouri
    I know this is an older post but. Really!? Schneider has 25,000 intermodal containers. Swift has 8,700. J B Hunt has 111,000. if you don't believe me, Google it!
  6. lual

    lual Road Train Member

    Oct 22, 2020
    SW Georgia
    Ok....here, I do stand corrected.

    So....let's correct it--the "big dogs" in intermodal are: JB Hunt, Schneider, and Swift.

    But the above numbers don't really change the main point I was trying to explain, above.

    On all that....I'll stand pat. :p

    Milr72 Thanks this.
  7. Drayagerm

    Drayagerm Bobtail Member

    Mar 28, 2023
    You are correct on JB Hunt. Largest domestic intermodal provider in the world.
    TB John Thanks this.
  8. Bigtruckdrivah

    Bigtruckdrivah Light Load Member

    May 31, 2020
    It’s been hot garbage for me since January. Was going on last year. It’s a tough business and it will be hard in your truck. Try to avoid the port, I seem to do better with 53’s going to rail. Good luck
  9. striker

    striker Road Train Member

    Aug 8, 2009
    Denver, Co
    If you are operating under your own authority, JBH won't touch you unless you're willing to suspend it and operate under their authority, Schneider and Swift might. Can you make money, depends on what rate they are paying you, anything less than 80% isn't worth it.
  10. ajax1337

    ajax1337 Bobtail Member

    Apr 27, 2018
    Overland Park, KS
    It's an even tighter of a squeeze going on at Prime Inc Intermodal right now since we're nowhere near as big. Will wait days for actual work, mostly just shuttling empties from the rail to customers in between. I even got asked by a UPS driver at the rail how things were on our side, that was concerning lol.
    Speed_Drums Thanks this.
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