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.
13 Mar 2014
Orbcomm, a global wireless asset-tracking company, has acquired Euroscan, expanding its product line and ability to track refrigerated containers and trailers worldwide.
12 Mar 2014
Etihad Rail, the United Arab Emirates’ national railway network developer and operator, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Abu Dhabi Ports Co. for the development of an integrated bulk and container railway terminal facility at Khalifa Port.
12 Mar 2014
Canadian National Railway told forest product shippers that the ongoing truck strike at the Port Metro Vancouver is preventing the railroad from taking all of their lumber and pulp carload shipments for transloading into containers.
12 Mar 2014
The release of a new study on the Mexican freight railway industry provides ammunition to the sector’s defense of its concession agreements, and hints at a potential compromise between the railroads and legislators aiming to open up industry to other carriers.
Top 36 lane index, week of Mar. 10, 2014. Source: IDS Transportation Services, LLC
11 Mar 2014
An index of 36 major U.S. intermodal lanes edged up 0.1 percent from the week before to $2,080 in the week of Mar. 10, the sixth straight weekly increase by roughly 1 percent or less, according to data on all-inclusive 53-foot door-to-door spot pricing quoted by railroads and provided by the 3PL IDS. The current index is up 1.8 percent from the rate one year ago, when it stood at $2,044, and up 2.5 percent from the beginning of 2014.
From left: Susan Pellechio, Staples; Mark D. Schweitzer, Archer Daniels Midland; and John Bowe, American Maritime Group.
07 Mar 2014
LONG BEACH, CALIF. — The transportation and logistics industry is dealing with “significant” issues surrounding human capital and succession planning...
07 Mar 2014
The Canadian government is requiring the nation’s two largest freight railroad to move about 551,000 tons of grains weekly or suffer daily fines of up to C$100,000 (approximately US$90,000).
04 Mar 2014
A Michigan-based company has acquired the operator of a refrigerated intermodal rail service, known as ColdTrain, and plans to at least triple Rail Logistics’ container fleet over the next five years.
CN CEO and President Claude Mongeau speaking at TPM on March 3.
04 Mar 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Canadian National Railway CEO and President Claude Mongeau yesterday said the railroad is looking at ways to build more resiliency into its network as it grapples with traffic delays caused by the severest winter in decades.
04 Mar 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Canadian National Railway CEO and President Claude Mongeau sat down with JOC senior editor Mark Szakonyi at JOC’s annual TPM conference to share his views on intermodal growth, the pace of the U.S. and Canadian economic recovery and whether Class I rail consolidation is ahead.

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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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