Rail & Intermodal

Fesco Transportation Group’s profit soared 30 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, but the weak ruble and lower rail freight rates dragged down the full-year result.

Terminal operators and equipment managers on the West Coast intend to form a discussion agreement that will allow them to work with industry stakeholders such as shipping lines, motor carriers and railroads to reduce congestion and improve cargo velocity.

U.S. shippers’ potential shifting of imports from the West Coast to the East Coast would give the major eastern railroads more business, but how much the railroads will actually benefit depends on how much of the cargo is destined for the Midwest.

China’s manufacturing shift inland and rising domestic consumption has created a surge in demand for intermodal rail services unable to be fulfilled because of supply side constraints, according to a just-released World Bank report.

CSX Intermodal operation
Fierce late winter weather dealt a blow to U.S. railroads’ efforts to restore intermodal rail service to the level shippers enjoyed before the 2013-2014 winter dragged down performance.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are partnering with cargo interests, terminal operators, harbor truckers and the railroads to hasten the day when marine terminals become transit facilities rather than storage sites for containers.

CSX North Baltimore, Ohio, intermodal hub
The recent installation of the second of two wide-span gantry cranes at its intermodal hub in northwest Ohio, completing a $40 million expansion, is the latest sign of how the hub-and-spoke model of CSX Transportation, which gives shippers more origins and destinations, is paying off.

The frequency of spot market loads from Los Angeles is increasing as the West Coast container logjam begins to break.
Signs that the container logjam in Southern California is beginning to break are showing up on the truck spot market, as deconsolidated loads come up for grabs at West Coast warehouses.

If passed, a reintroduced U.S. Senate bill could help shippers gain faster relief from railroads, both in terms of service and rate challenges.

U.S. Senate legislation introduced on Wednesday could allow railroads to expedite construction of intermodal terminals and other projects, providing shippers with more capacity and more reliable service.