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

15 Nov 2019
The divide sharpens between those who see looming recession in freight numbers and those who see sustained, albeit slower, US growth.
11 Nov 2019
In the heart of what is supposed to be peak season, rail container traffic is not only much slower than a year ago, but also behind 2017 levels as well — and truck seems sluggish, too.
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.
31 Oct 2019
Top intermodal providers had few positives in describing the current state of the market with little to no seasonal uptick in container volumes on rail.
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.
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.
Growth forecast for ocean, intermodal sectors
19 Sep 2019
Freight volumes and rates in the US ocean, intermodal rail, and trucking sectors will see flat to low-single-digit percentage growth in the fourth quarter and into 2020 as retailers burn off inventories, according to speakers at IANA’s annual conference.
18 Sep 2019
A conflict of interests among supply chain stakeholders involving how best to manage chassis usage at ports and rail hubs continues to harm productivity, with no immediate solution on the horizon.
12 Sep 2019
Schneider National says it’s not worried about Amazon purchasing branded 53-foot containers because the intermodal provider believes only a small group of companies have the scale to insource.
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
The partnership between Canadian National Railway and Cosco was instrumental in propelling Prince Rupert from a bulk port to a major Asian gateway for US and Canadian cargo owners and forwarders.
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.
30 Aug 2019
Businesses rush to position goods and assets in Florida as rail and trucking operations race against the clock ahead of Hurricane Dorian’s landfall.
29 Aug 2019
J.B. Hunt has informed shippers it will assess peak season surcharges on excess freight out of California and Washington state even though volumes are much weaker than a year ago.
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.
US intermodal savings lowest in five years
07 Aug 2019
In its inaugural US Domestic Intermodal Savings Index, JOC finds that intermodal rates are closer to trucking rates than at any time since 2014, so shippers should closely examine their modal choices.
01 Aug 2019
Schneider National cut its 2019 earnings guidance, citing an uncertain outlook for trucking and intermodal volumes in the second half of the year.
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.
11 Jul 2019
While the current perception is that there is an ongoing shift of cargo occurring from the West Coast to the East and Gulf coasts, data shows that is not necessarily the case.
08 Jul 2019
A large share of US-bound Mexican freight is shoved through an increasingly tight funnel of truck lanes vulnerable to freight surges, migration crises, and trade disputes.
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.
John Atkins, president GCT
03 Jul 2019
Sponsored: John Atkins, President, Global Container Terminals USA, discusses his company's recent expansions, including their ExpressRail Port Jersey and truck reservation system.
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.
26 Jun 2019
The eighth-largest US trucking operator adds an intermodal option in Indianapolis, making service between the US Midwest and Northeast more competitive with trucks.
JOC Mexico Trade Conference 2019
26 Jun 2019
JOC Senior Editor Bill Cassidy on US-Mexico border congestion, a topic to be explored further July 30-31 in Mexico City at the JOC Mexico Trade Conference.
20 Jun 2019
A sharp decline in shipper spending and freight volumes causes some to sound the recession alarm, but others still see slower growth, not steep decline, amid tariff threats.
19 Jun 2019
Ike, a developer of automated trucks led by veterans of Uber, Google and Apple, says ATs are entering a new phase, but still many years from widespread use.
19 Jun 2019
Despite a downturn in volume, freight shippers say intermodal remains a critical component of their supply chains even as technology is poised to lower truck costs.