Rail & Intermodal

There are seven Class I railroads in the U.S. that haul the largest share of domestic and international goods: BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad in the West, CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern in the East, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern Railway. Along with regional short line carriers, these railroads haul a variety of bulk and retail goods, from coal and grain to consumer goods.

Intermodal transportation by rail is on the agenda at the JOC’s inaugural Inland Distribution Conference in Kansas City, Mo., on Sept. 18-19, 2013. Learn more about the conference.

News & Analysis

17 Apr 2014
Kansas City Southern Railway appears confident the Mexican government won’t require it to open up its track to competitors as legislation had threatened last fall.
02 Apr 2014
WASHINGTON — The U.S.
Top 36 lane index, week of March 31, 2014. Source: IDS Transportation Services, LLC
02 Apr 2014
An index of 36 major U.S. intermodal lanes climbed 1.9 percent or $40 from the week before to $2,166 in the week of March 31, the eleventh weekly increase in the fourteen weeks of 2014 so far, according to data on all-inclusive 53-foot door-to-door spot pricing quoted by railroads and provided by the 3PL IDS. Rates have climbed 6.7 percent since the beginning of 2014 and are up 7.3 percent from the rate one year ago, when it stood at $2,019.
01 Apr 2014
Logistics firm DHL has signed a new agreement to provide rail freight services between China and Europe via a strategic partnership with United Transport and Logistics Company, a joint venture between OJSC Russian Railways, JSC National Company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy and state-owned Belarusian Railway.
01 Apr 2014
WASHINGTON — Following many shippers’ complaints of poor rail service, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board said today it will hear on April 10 from Class I carriers and their customers on what can done to improve service.
01 Apr 2014
Transportation writer Greg Knowler joined the JOC today as senior editor for Asia.
BMW exports autos through Port of Charleston
01 Apr 2014
South Carolina’s new inland port at Greer will get a big increase in the volume of autos and containers it handles for rail shipment to and from the Port of Charleston over the next couple of years. The leg up will come from the $1 billion investment that BMW announced March 28 to expand production at its automobile plant in nearby Spartanburg over the next two years.
31 Mar 2014
WASHINGTON — Some U.S. and Canadian railcar shippers could get some pricing relief if efforts in Washington, D.C., and Ottawa to change switching rules take effect.
31 Mar 2014
KKR, the U.S.-based global investment group, today announced it is supporting a new European locomotive leasing firm to capitalize on the emergence of private companies spurred by rail deregulation across the continent.
Grain train in Canada
27 Mar 2014
The Canadian government yesterday introduced legislation aimed at forcing the country’s two largest freight railroads to move grain faster...
25 Mar 2014
WASHINGTON — The U.S. rail industry and the nation’s largest shipper group today presented to the Surface Transportation Board widely disparate scenarios about what would happen if the rail regulatory agency mandated reciprocal switching for certain railroad customers.

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Commentary

Despite the economic uncertainty the U.S. has experienced since 2008, domestic intermodal traffic in North America is growing robustly. Overall year-over-year volume growth through August 2013 was a healthy 6.8 percent. Domestic containers continue to see conversion from trailers in rail service — growing 9.7 percent, while trailer volumes shrank 2.9 percent, according to the Intermodal Association of North America, Yusen Logistics estimates and TTX fleet size data.

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