Intermodal Shipping

Intermodal Shipping

News, data and analysis of the various factors that are driving the continued expansion of intermodal shipping activity around the globe.

Steady growth in the number of road freight carriers is leading to greater traffic congestion and costly delays in the delivery of goods to end-users in business and consumer markets. Governments and regulatory bodies are introducing costly, stringent regulations to reduce vehicle emissions. Intermodal infrastructures are improving, along with other advances in technology for managing complex supply chains that operate across various modes of transportation.

All of those factors are compelling many companies to use an intermodal combination of sea, road and railways to transport their goods on longer routes, rather than depend on a single mode of transportation. The cost-reduction benefits are significant for shippers, buyers, freight forwarders and other stakeholders in the supply chain.

 

 

 

Commentary

What does the term “Industry 4.0” mean for logistics and supply chains? Logistics 4.0 has recently emerged as a move to smart transportation and logistics, enhanced sales and operations planning, and dynamic logistics network configuration.

News & Analysis

25 May 2022
Domestic containers have been idling in a Norfolk Southern terminal in eastern Pennsylvania because of a chassis shortage, but the railroad said it is delivering new equipment to the region and repositioning chassis from other markets to deal with the disruption.
17 May 2022
Amid supply chain gridlock throughout the US, the Port of Houston has signed an agreement to investigate the potential use of an electric rail shuttle system for inland container movement.
19 Apr 2022
J.B. Hunt Transport Services said there is more intermodal demand than available capacity, and it downplayed the likelihood of an imminent freight recession.
01 Apr 2022
US Federal Maritime Commissioner Carl Bentzel said China’s dominance in container and chassis manufacturing is the direct result of the Communist government’s support for the sector.
14 Mar 2022
The sudden increase in fuel-related shipping costs caused by the war in Ukraine is already changing how shippers plan to move goods within the US, forcing them to consolidate shipments and even change modes.
11 Mar 2022
Trailer-on-flatcar (TOFC) volumes have been fading away for years and may be nearing the end game as a “tidal wave” of new private 53-foot containers enters the US domestic intermodal system, according to JOC analyst Lawrence Gross.
02 Mar 2022
As container lines pull back on inland point intermodal (IPI), US importers are rethinking their landside delivery plans and containerized freight is moving further inland before being deconsolidated.
04 Feb 2022
Intermodal contracts saved shippers more money than ever in Q4, but they saved much less money on the spot market due to surcharges in California.
06 Jan 2022
While most shippers are concerned about whether there will be enough chassis and fluidity in railroad terminals in 2022, they are also bracing for a steep increase in contract rates.
05 Jan 2022
Increases in spot truckload rates to Chicago from eastern US ports are outpacing rate hikes off the West Coast, as the spot market enters 2022 at record price levels amid “extraordinary” demand.
28 Dec 2021
Domestic intermodal shippers who want to use BNSF Railway to send cargo in 53-foot containers will have one fewer service option come Jan. 1, JOC.com has learned.
27 Dec 2021
The Port of Long Beach’s project to move over one-third of its container volumes to rail received a boost from the US Department of Transportation through a $52 million grant.
14 Dec 2021
The diversion of freight from intermodal rail to truck adds miles to import shipments, significantly increasing costs, the Cass Freight Index finds.
02 Nov 2021
While contract intermodal customers are realizing huge savings using rail this year, spot intermodal rates are not the bargain they were earlier in 2021.
01 Nov 2021
Norfolk Southern will cut the free time for importers to pick up ocean containers at more than two dozen smaller-market terminals, while also raising storage fees.
26 Oct 2021
UP is grading domestic intermodal customers on dwelling of equipment, street turns of containers, and use of appointments using a four-tier monthly report card.
20 Oct 2021
Supply chain disruption is slowing economic growth, but “postponed” demand is expected to reemerge in 2022, keeping US freight capacity tight and transportation pricing high.
15 Oct 2021
A flood of imports into the Pacific Northwest is boosting spot truckload rates out of Seattle as shippers facing delays and intermodal container shortages seek new routes for freight moving inland.
12 Oct 2021
Union Pacific Railroad will test semi-automated cranes at its Global IV terminal in Chicago next year, hoping the new equipment will improve fluidity through there.
11 Oct 2021
Tiger Cool Express is pursuing the purchase of a shuttered Union Pacific refrigerated warehouse to help develop a new cold chain intermodal hub in the Pacific Northwest.
27 Sep 2021
Union Pacific Railroad is limiting how many domestic containers it will take out of Chicago, Kansas City, and Memphis to the West Coast to address terminal congestion in its intermodal network.
22 Sep 2021
Chassis providers warn that only the easing of import volumes, and the resulting reversal of rising dwell times, will relieve tightness in equipment supply as production capacity is maxed out.
16 Sep 2021
Norfolk Southern Railway, which expects all chassis subject to a June safety recall to be repaired by next month, will buy more chassis in 2022 to address supply chain congestion.
08 Sep 2021
The chairman of the US Surface Transportation Board urged railroads to focus less on serving Wall Street investors and more on serving shippers, employees, and the public interest — or else the agency may have to intervene.
11 Aug 2021
Both of the primary ingredients to the traditional US intermodal peak season — a seasonal increase in demand and an increase in the number of TEU processed — are in question in 2021.
30 Jul 2021
Tight intermodal rail capacity and a massive wave of US imports are encouraging transloading to trucks and boosting truckload spot rates from Southern California to inland distribution points.
30 Jul 2021
Intermodal shippers saved record amounts of money in the second quarter, but rate hikes in California, Texas, and Washington will make trucks the cheaper option on transactional loads in the western US going forward.
29 Jul 2021
Union Pacific Railroad has raised domestic intermodal surcharges for a fourth time in 2021 with a $5,000 per container fee on excess contract loads for low-volume shippers in California.
20 Jul 2021
J.B. Hunt says shippers and railroads must improve how quickly they process containers to prevent a peak season supply chain meltdown.
15 Jul 2021
Union Pacific’s emergency measure is meant to help move a stack of containers at its Global IV terminal outside of Chicago where an estimated 2,000–3,000 containers sit without chassis.
12 Jul 2021
Shortages of trailers, containers, chassis, and drivers helped draw down volumes 3 percent in June from May, but the rates measured by the Cass Freight Index shot up 11 percent month to month.
08 Jul 2021
Norfolk Southern has shut down domestic intermodal traffic on four busy domestic intermodal lanes into central Pennsylvania for non-asset partners, a signal the eastern US railroad is struggling to handle volume surges and a 53-foot chassis safety recall.
07 Jul 2021
Trailers are just as important to over-the-road trucking as containers are to intermodal rail, and just as scarce.
02 Jul 2021
CSX has temporarily cut the number of reservations to bring in domestic containers in Chicago because of overwhelming volume, a common theme among the Class I railroads struggling in the Windy City.
01 Jul 2021
Union Pacific Railroad has decided to cap storage fees for inaccessible containers at Chicago’s Global IV terminal after one shipper was slammed with a bill for more than $10,000.