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Customer Advisory: Severe Winter Weather Across North America Causing Intermodal Disruption

February 16, 2021

North America is experiencing unprecedented winter weather conditions from coast to coast, causing significant disruption across the intermodal network. Even as conditions ease in the coming days, the disruption to the networks will be felt for several weeks to come.

Below is a snapshot of the issues and conditions reported by carriers:


  • Union Pacific has closed all terminals to all ingates as of 8 AM Pacific time. Gates are open for outgate/deliveries. UP expects the closure to last up to 72 hours.
  • The BNSF network remains open, with significant delays (72+ hours reported).
  • The Pacific Northwest is experiencing significant snowfall causing severe disruptions.
  • On-dock rail in both Southern California and Seattle/Tacoma will continue to operate, dependent on crews/railcars/locomotives’ availability.


  • Tennessee: Memphis ramps on all railroads are currently closed due to severe winter weather conditions.
  • Texas: The Union Pacific ramps are closed for ingates, BNSF, and KCS ramps are open, but there are state-wide power outages across Texas. Severe cold weather and snow are causing significant disruptions (in areas not accustomed to winter weather).


  • Ramps in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Kansas City, St Louis, etc., are open and accepting traffic – except for the Union Pacific ramps.
  • Significant snowfall and cold temperatures are very negatively impacting terminal operations.


  • Several lanes have been temporarily closed as the storms move east. Lanes moving from east to west (CA/WA/OR) are operating with delays.


  • Severe weather in Northern Mexico is causing wide-spread power outages. Many cities across the country are experiencing rolling power outages, and local governments have put restrictions in place in the interest of public safety.
  • The bridges in Laredo were temporarily closed yesterday due to ice. Trains are currently running, with significant delays.
  • With frigid temperatures, trains must operate at reduced train length.
  • Crews cannot work outside for any extended time to inspect trains, and it is difficult to get fresh crews to the trains because many roads are impassable.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your APL Logistics Account Manager or local APL Logistics office.

Click here to download the advisory

About APL Logistics
APL Logistics is the go-to global supply chain specialist for companies in the Automotive, Consumer, Industrials, and Retail sectors. The APL Logistics group of companies has a global network covering all major markets and is backed by a multinational workforce of over 6,800 people. APL Logistics Ltd is a member of the Kintetsu World Express group, a global logistics services provider. For more information, or email us at and connect with us on LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.