Rail & Intermodal

Congestion and delays at U.S. West Coast ports meant UPS had to scramble to get containerized goods into its inland delivery network and to customers. Higher purchased transportation costs were a factor in lower fourth-quarter earnings.

Kansas City Southern Railway’s intermodal traffic increased 8 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2014, despite congestion from other U.S. railroads and cross-border diversions that cost it some volume.

Canadian National Railway turned down a request by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference to extend the current conciliation process by 60 days, saying additional time isn’t required to reach an agreement.

Canadian Pacific Railway said it expects mid- to high-single-digit intermodal revenue growth this year, as domestic intermodal traffic builds steadily and container lines boost volume on improving services.

Union Pacific Railroad said U.S. West Coast port congestion will remain a drag on its volume growth until the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and waterfront employers agree to a contract.

Construction began this week on a rail link that will connect a 360-acre logistics hub being built at a former Army base at the Port of Oakland with Union Pacific’s main line.

The China-financed Mombasa-Nairobi rail link that is under construction is facing competition from Africa’s largest private equity firm that has invested $70 million in a competing rail connection that will also link the two cities.

Trucking companies serving a major intermodal complex in the Chicago area face longer trips after the Illinois Commerce Commission ruled that a key route must be shut down to commercial traffic because of safety concerns, according to various reports.

Barring a relapse of intermodal service woes, few shippers are expected to shift their freight back to trucking

U.S. freight shipments and shipper transport spending both dropped from the previous month in December, but remained close to a post-recession high, according to the Cass Freight Index.