Union Pacific Railroad has rebranded its Insight Network Transportation subsidiary and website in an attempt to attract more cross-country used car freight onto its trains. With the new name ShipCarsNow, the company plans to establish a network of dealerships served by an intermodal rail and road service and change the way used cars are moved in the US. Traditionally dealers either pay drivers to move used cars between markets or consolidate them for shipment on finished vehicle trailers for distribution by road.
Union Pacific’s plan is to shift used car movements onto long-haul rail routes with short-haul truck movements at either end. It is a method that currently caters for new vehicles to 20,000 US dealers. Given the drop in new vehicle movements in the US and the subsequent overcapacity in railcar assets, as well as projections that the market will take some years to return to previous levels, the plan also promises to utilise automotive railcars currently sitting idle.
The company’s online resource – ShipCarsNow.com – will give registered customers an instant quote and estimated transit time for shipping used cars door-to-door anywhere in the US. According to the company, the quote can immediately be turned into an order and users can track their shipment and consult the estimated time of arrival.
“[An] affordable rail service brings the additional capacity and market coverage needed to truly expand used car trading on the internet, domestically and internationally,” said Union Pacific’s Vice President and General Manager, Automotive, Julie Krehbiel.