Class I Railroads

Class I Railroads

More than 600 freight railroads operate in the United States. The seven “Class 1” railroads — railroads with 2017 revenue of at least $464 million — accounted for around 68 percent of US freight rail mileage, 88 percent of employees, and 94 percent of revenue that year. Each Class I railroad operates in multiple states over thousands of miles of track. The largest railway carriers, they account for the majority of the rail infrastructure in the country, according to the Association of American Railroads.

The seven Class 1 railroads are BNSF Railway Co., CSX Transportation, Grand Trunk Corporation (Canadian National’s operations), Kansas City Southern Railway, Norfolk Southern, Soo Line Corporation (Canadian Pacific’s operations), and Union Pacific Railroad.

 

Commentary

Despite private sector-based gains, the Surface Transportation Board, the agency in charge of overseeing private US freight railroads, has taken steps to impose onerous regulations on railroad operators that would erase much of the industry’s progress over the last 40 years.

News & Analysis

07 Nov 2019
Unless the Los Angeles-Long Beach ports attract more cargo, they could wind up stuck with a hefty bill for the intermodal corridor’s bond debt, a report says.
05 Nov 2019
As spot intermodal rates begin to save shippers more money than earlier in 2019, shippers are seeing reduced savings on contract business.
24 Oct 2019
The third blockage this year of the main rail line into the Mexican Port of Lázaro Cárdenas, which is operated by Kansas City Southern of Mexico (KCSM) will likely add to shipper fears that moving cargo by rail is unreliable.
17 Oct 2019
CSX Transportation and Union Pacific Railroad reported weak intermodal volume for the third quarter, but insisted their networks are lean, efficient, and ready to fully capitalize when the market rebounds.
16 Oct 2019
J.B. Hunt Transport Services said its intermodal volume was flat in the third quarter, a positive given the 4.5 percent decline in total intermodal volume across the industry.
10 Oct 2019
Two refrigerated intermodal carriers, Marten Transport and KLLM Transport, have acquired 53-foot containers as US Class I railroads have been disincentivizing intermodal trailer use.
08 Oct 2019
Despite weak intermodal volume in the third quarter, there is a glimmer of hope for rail shippers as a sequential bump in truckload spot rates have provided additional cost savings.
07 Oct 2019
The US Surface Transportation Board is urging railroads to work closely with shippers to address concerns about demurrage practices.
03 Oct 2019
Intermodal volumes did not recover in the third quarter, prompting questions of what railroads can do to win back shippers, other than waiting for a recovery in trucking.
30 Sep 2019
YRC Freight is building its own fleet of domestic containers — to reach 600 by year’s end — for use on BNSF Railway lines connecting West Coast ports with the US heartland.
12 Sep 2019
Trains began running again into the Mexican Port of Lazaro Cardenas Thursday, two days after protestors halted train traffic at the port, raising anew concerns of reliability of the country’s railroad system in moving freight.
11 Sep 2019
The Cass Truckload Linehaul Index has gone negative for the first time since March 2017, a signal that in addition to spot rates, contract rates are starting to suffer as well; intermodal prices are also expected to go negative in October.
11 Sep 2019
The US intermodal industry is currently in the midst of a down cycle after volumes and rates surged in late 2017 and early 2018, but there are opportunities for railroads to accelerate the potential rebound if they are able to take advantage.
09 Sep 2019
The Journal of Commerce has learned Amazon has acquired 53-foot containers, signaling an intention to tender intermodal volume directly to Class I railroads without an intermediary and marketing itself as an end-to-end supply chain solution for small retailers.
04 Sep 2019
Union Pacific Railroad has dropped its plan to levy fines against trucking companies for canceling or missing ingate reservations to enter intermodal ramps in California, Oregon, and Washington.
28 Aug 2019
Union Pacific Railroad and CSX Transportation, struggling to recover volume after service cuts, are reaching out to shippers and logistics providers about reinstating direct service to Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Columbus, Ohio, sources tell JOC.com
23 Aug 2019
The Port of Virginia will shift more vessel calls to the Virginia International Gateway (VIG) terminal so shippers using rail can receive their cargo faster.
Prince Rupert looks ahead to next million TEUs
14 Aug 2019
Sponsored: Port of Prince Rupert President and CEO Shaun Stevenson discusses the capacity challenges of early growth, hitting the 1 million TEU milestone, and plans for 2019 expansion.
13 Aug 2019
The port of Savannah’s intermodal terminal expansion project is about 40 percent complete as rail volumes set a new record in July.
12 Aug 2019
Sponsored: CN president and CEO JJ Ruest discusses working with customers on individual priorities and investing in both talent and, at the Port of Vancouver, rail expansion with the Centerm and GCT Vanterm projects.
08 Aug 2019
Canadian National Railway and CSX Transportation will launch a new international intermodal service linking Montreal and Toronto to New York.
02 Aug 2019
Canadian National Railway said its enhanced competency to handle less-than-truckload volumes allowed it to provide a more sophisticated suite of services to Hudson’s Bay.
26 Jul 2019
A new chassis depot is open outside Canadian Pacific's intermodal terminal near Chicago's O'Hare Airport, which will allow truckers to pick up and return equipment to transport containers.
25 Jul 2019
Sponsored: Keith Reardon, CN's senior vice president for consumer products supply chain growth, maps out the Canadian freight railway’s strategy for keeping pace with market forces.
24 Jul 2019
Norfolk Southern Railway believes the intermodal market has hit bottom and expects shippers to move more containers in the second half of 2019.
24 Jul 2019
Yilport and the Mississippi State Port Authority are making headway in agreeing to a concession and aim to have a binding letter of intent — featuring a roadmap of planned investments — by the end of the year.
23 Jul 2019
Maryland and the Port of Baltimore will have to find $103 million in funds for the $466 million Howard Street Tunnel project after the federal government awarded only $125 million, just over half of the $228 million requested.
17 Jul 2019
CSX Transportation lowered its guidance for 2019 after offering a grimmer view of the freight market than J.B. Hunt had a day earlier, warning investors that the second half of the year could be worse than the first.
Intermodal has hit rock bottom: J.B. Hunt
16 Jul 2019
J.B. Hunt Transport Services believes the intermodal market has hit rock bottom, expressing confidence that shippers will move excess inventory in the second half of 2019, though volume will still be less than last year.
12 Jul 2019
Analysts expect more of a negative outlook from railroads in second-quarter earnings calls, as shippers have not sent as much on intermodal as they have anticipated in 2019.
10 Jul 2019
Truckers continue to battle turns of more than an hour at times in BNSF’s Lot 16 outside Chicago, where the railroad has instructed all empty containers to be returned. This means drivers complete fewer jobs per day and shippers have to wait longer for service.
08 Jul 2019
Union Pacific Railroad will begin charging truckers and logistics providers for missed appointments for intermodal terminals and tighten free storage time for demurrage to 24 hours in all terminals beginning this autumn.
Intermodal rail service will be reliable this peak season
08 Jul 2019
The intermodal peak season is expected to be a manageable one with domestic volumes continuing to be weak and abundant container capacity, while international loads will increase at a slower pace than a year ago. Industry stakeholders believe intermodal service will be good in the peak season.
Rail is critical link in chassis solution
05 Jul 2019
Although chassis discussions usually are focused on marine ports, figuring out a solution to chronic equipment shortages must take into account an equally complex set of railroad operations across the US heartland.
01 Jul 2019
TRAC and DCLI have reached an interoperability agreement for the BNSF terminal outside of Dallas, which could lower the likelihood of chassis shortages. Open choice advocates worry this "duopoly" will spread to other Gulf Coast markets and limit trucker choice.