Rail & Intermodal

U.S. domestic intermodal spot rates aren’t rising, suggesting the traditional surge of imports ahead of Chinese New Year, when Asia factories close for about two weeks, is weak.

warehouse inventory
Mentions of a recession-like environment from top transportation executives and lackluster growth in domestic and international freight volumes are sparking fears that a U.S. freight recession is upon us that could be a harbinger of something even worse: an outright economic recession.

A Feb. 1 change in dimensional weight pricing will benefit Forward Air Corp., the CEO of the ground-air expedited transportation company told Wall Street analysts this week.

Truck drivers who have been using a secondary access road to reach a major intermodal complex in the Chicago area have been forced to cope with longer turn times, fewer trips and higher costs — and they won’t be seeing any relief any time soon.

Canadian Pacific Railway CEO E. Hunter Harrison said Wednesday he will abandon a proposed takeover of Norfolk Southern Railway if shareholders at the Virginia railroad fail to pressure their board to sit down at the negotiating table with their Canadian counterparts.

Canadian Pacific Railway said Tuesday it plans to submit a resolution asking Norfolk Southern Railway shareholders request their board of directors engage in “good faith discussions” with CP regarding its proposed merger, the newest approach after the Calgary-based company has been rebuffed three times.

Outlook for the Class I rail industry in 2016 varies from cautiously optimistic to downright grim. Even though intermodal service has generally improved, the railroads are finding competition from the trucking sector — for domestic loads and marine containers — as fierce as ever.

The Indian federal government on Wednesday approved a proposal allowing the Ministry of Railways to set up joint ventures with various state government agencies for the development of rail infrastructure projects in the country.

After a tumultuous year that saw a high-profile management shake-up and intermodal volume declines, Hub Group finished 2015 with a strong fourth quarter. Profit jumped double digits in the last three months of 2015 on stronger intermodal and truck brokerage freight volume and recovering rail service, the company said.

Shippers using C.H. Robinson Worldwide to move truckload freight saw pricing drop 3 percent on average in the fourth quarter. The logistics operator's volume, net revenue and profit, on the other hand, all rose.