Rail & Intermodal

A train pulling 82 wagons loaded with containers is somewhere between the Chinese manufacturing hub of Yiwu and the Spanish city of Madrid, 6,200 miles down the track.

A weekly index of intermodal spot pricing showed post-peak season weakness and was weighed down by rate erosion on freight moving out of Chicago, where intermodal prices have been consistently strong this year. However pricing support out of the West Coast pointed to the effects of congestion at the Los Angeles-Long Beach ports.

U.S. shippers, especially retailers, are increasingly nervous and frustrated by supply chain delays and higher transport costs linked to West Coast port congestion, and worried about how that congestion will affect the movement of goods to inland distribution points.

BNSF Railway is no longer accepting empty containers headed to Seattle and Tacoma marine terminals at railyards in Chicago; St. Paul, Minnesota, Denver and Omaha.

U.S.-Mexico cross-border trucking and rail volume is poised to increase after Mexican factory export production in October hit a five-year high.

The Port of Houston Authority has selected Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam Inc. to design the first phase of a new rail line to the port’s Bayport terminal.

The value of U.S. trade with Mexico and Canada increased by $7.8 billion in September, exceeding $100 billion for the seventh straight month as manufacturing activity and freight shipping in all three North American Free Trade Agreement partners expanded.

Shippers face another round of woes even after their stalled containers move from congested Los Angeles-Long Beach via intermodal rail to Chicago.

The International Transport Workers' Federation is battling with the Panama Canal Authority, accusing the PCA of trying to shut down a tugboat captains' union in advance of the canal's expansion.

U.S. shippers dependent on congested ports face a tough year ahead, FTR Associates says. But that doesn't mean 2015 will be easy — or cheap — for anyone shipping freight in the U.S.