Intermodal Shipping

Intermodal Shipping

News, data and analysis of the various factors that are driving the continued expansion of intermodal shipping activity around the globe.

Steady growth in the number of road freight carriers is leading to greater traffic congestion and costly delays in the delivery of goods to end-users in business and consumer markets. Governments and regulatory bodies are introducing costly, stringent regulations to reduce vehicle emissions. Intermodal infrastructures are improving, along with other advances in technology for managing complex supply chains that operate across various modes of transportation.

All of those factors are compelling many companies to use an intermodal combination of sea, road and railways to transport their goods on longer routes, rather than depend on a single mode of transportation. The cost-reduction benefits are significant for shippers, buyers, freight forwarders and other stakeholders in the supply chain.

 

 

 

Commentary

What does the term “Industry 4.0” mean for logistics and supply chains? Logistics 4.0 has recently emerged as a move to smart transportation and logistics, enhanced sales and operations planning, and dynamic logistics network configuration.

News & Analysis

07 Jul 2020
Intermodal shippers are increasingly putting pressure on 3PLs to waive container fees as a precondition for business amid the coronavirus-linked recession.
09 Jun 2020
Intermodal is not seeing the same rebound in demand as trucking since the economic shutdown owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, and research firm FTR Associates does not believe containerized rail volume will fully recover to 2019 levels until sometime in 2021.
01 Jun 2020
The acquisition of FMIC from Chainalytics helps transform DAT Solutions into a broader freight intelligence business aimed at enabling shippers, brokers, and truckers to understand freight costs and pricing.
21 May 2020
Domestic intermodal volume in April suffered its worst month in eight years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with intermodal marketing companies saying May might end as poorly, if not worse.
11 May 2020
A refrigerated rail service sold by Union Pacific Railroad to shippers has shut down amid the COVID-19 downturn in volumes and competition from rival BNSF Railway and other large IMCs.
08 May 2020
JOC’s Spot Intermodal Savings Index hit an 14-month low in a preliminary April reading, the first snapshot of how the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the math on how much money intermodal can save a shipper.
29 Apr 2020
Norfolk Southern Railway insists that no matter how far truck rates fall, it will not chase the market down by providing unsustainable rates to shippers, but rather focus on innovative ideas such as mixed trains.
23 Apr 2020
North American intermodal volume may plunge as much as 25 percent in the second quarter, so railroads believe the right strategy is to focus on cost-cutting while providing reliable service.
15 Apr 2020
J.B. Hunt Transport Services acknowledges a rough second quarter is ahead, while there’s much unknown about how severe the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on business conditions will be.
09 Apr 2020
Intermodal volume last week was the weakest in a nearly a decade as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has wreaked havoc on the railroads, which an industry analyst believes could cost Class I railroads $9 billion dollars.
Top 50 Trucking Companies 2019
06 Apr 2020
The 50 largest US trucking operators in the United States saw revenue growth throttle back considerably in 2019, but 2020 is shaping up to be even worse.
01 Apr 2020
Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority this year will feel the declining revenue effects of the economic recession projected to impact Los Angeles and Long Beach and all North American ports.
26 Feb 2020
Domestic intermodal volumes rose in January year on year, but there is little else for intermodal marketing companies (IMCs) to feel good about right now.
13 Feb 2020
Non-asset intermodal providers want railroads to be more lenient on container charges and late fees when bidding for shipper business in order to become more competitive with the likes of J.B. Hunt Transport Services.
11 Feb 2020
Railroads are more conciliatory in negotiating contract rates than a year ago, hungry to recapture freight lost to trucking. One logistics executive called the railroads’ stance “a complete 180 from last year.”
06 Feb 2020
There are no positives to be found in the Intermodal Association of North America’s latest market report, which shows year-over-year volume fell 7.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 and 4.1 percent for the full year, with declines in all types of containers.
05 Feb 2020
Amid weak intermodal volumes in 2019, the JOC Domestic Intermodal Savings Index shows spot and contract savings are lower than historical averages, although the year closed stronger for shipper savings on the spot market.
29 Jan 2020
Railroads and intermodal providers say there will be more volume in 2020 than last year, although shipper demand will not fully recover until the second half of this year.
UP to resume service on nearly 60 lanes it cut in 2018
28 Jan 2020
Union Pacific Railroad will resume service on nearly 60 previously eliminated lanes beginning Feb. 1, a move it linked to its precision scheduled railroading operation, but others said was designed to win back lost market share.
27 Jan 2020
Despite stiff truck competition, East Coast ports have taken aggressive steps to capture more intermodal cargo and spend significant capital to build out rail infrastructure.
21 Jan 2020
The migration of North American import cargo from west to east has been accelerating, a trend that could have negative implications for Inland Point Intermodal (IPI).
17 Jan 2020
Dedicated contract carriage, final-mile service, and a digital marketplace helped carry J.B. Hunt through a tough fourth-quarter intermodal and trucking market.
10 Jan 2020
The intermodal picture at the start of 2020 is lackluster because the trucking market isn’t on the verge of a major rebound unless there is an economic catalyst.
07 Jan 2020
The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement may speed the processing of goods at US borders, but won’t necessarily speed transportation at the congested Mexican border, experts warn. That will require further investment in infrastructure and technology.
02 Jan 2020
Union Pacific Railroad has been suffering technical issues with its gates at Chicago’s Global 4 terminal, causing major congestion and delays in cargo deliveries.
02 Jan 2020
After an unprecedented volume decline in 2019, continued excess trucking capacity, further transitioning to precisions scheduled railroading, and slowing economic growth portends another difficult year for the US intermodal market.
31 Dec 2019
US intermodal, particularly domestic volume, has a tough road ahead given low spot truckload rates that will continue to push freight to the highway, but the sector could see some improvement in the second half.
06 Dec 2019
IHS Markit points to a “modest upturn” in the US economy, with consumer demand keeping freight in motion.
26 Nov 2019
Barring a major turnaround in December, BNSF Railway and CSX Transportation will record their lowest annual intermodal volumes this year since 2016, and two other Class I railroads could possibly join that list.
20 Nov 2019
Asset-monitoring technology will help Canadian Pacific and intermodal shippers to locate and better utilize the railroad’s chassis pool.
15 Nov 2019
The divide sharpens between those who see looming recession in freight numbers and those who see sustained, albeit slower, US growth.
11 Nov 2019
In the heart of what is supposed to be peak season, rail container traffic is not only much slower than a year ago, but also behind 2017 levels as well — and truck seems sluggish, too.
07 Nov 2019
Unless the Los Angeles-Long Beach ports attract more cargo, they could wind up stuck with a hefty bill for the intermodal corridor’s bond debt, a report says.
05 Nov 2019
As spot intermodal rates begin to save shippers more money than earlier in 2019, shippers are seeing reduced savings on contract business.
31 Oct 2019
Top intermodal providers had few positives in describing the current state of the market with little to no seasonal uptick in container volumes on rail.