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

15 Apr 2014
J.B. Hunt Transport Services appears back on track for intermodal growth, reflecting a broader pickup in intermodal following delays, disruptions and depressed volumes in the first quarter blamed on severe weather.
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.
24 Mar 2014
Canadian National Railway said it’s meeting the government requirement to transport more grain but warned that grain elevators on the west coast are nearing capacity and ice coverage prevents shipping via the Great Lakes.
23 Mar 2014
The union representing about 3,000 conductors and train and railyard workers at Canadian National Railway agreed late yesterday to restart labor contract negotiations with the railroad and accept final and binding arbitration if a deal can’t be reached.
CN locomotives
21 Mar 2014
The union representing about 3,000 conductors and train and railyard workers at Canadian National Railway could strike as soon as March 22 after rejecting a tentative agreement yesterday.

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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.