The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Co. (BNSF) and truckload carrier Swift Transportation Co. have formed an alliance to offer joint intermodal service for perishable commodities.

Effective immediately, the two companies will provide seamless service for temperature-controlled commodities moving between the West Coast, the Midwest and the Southeastern United States. Fort Worth-based BNSF will provide boxcar transportation services for long-haul moves, while Swift will provide over-the-road transportation for short-haul moves. Both companies will coordinate any transload and cross-dock moves that may be necessary.

"We hope to make the transportation process seamless by providing one point of contact to make bi-modal shipping easier and more economical," said Chuck Schultz, BNSF’s executive vp & chief marketing officer. "As a result of the opportunity in this market segment, we will be evaluating possibilities for expanding our service offerings."

"We see a significant opportunity in this market segment. By working together, we can create service packages which will build on the strengths of both truck and rail transportation," said Jerry Moyes, chairman & CEO of Phoenix-based Swift.