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

10 Jun 2019
The new expanded intermodal rail yard has reopened at the Port of Virginia, doubling capacity for CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern. The port says this means quicker transfers from ships to trains.
10 Jun 2019
Transportation consulting firm Trans-Logistics Group is expanding its advisory services for US freight shippers, opening an office in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
04 Jun 2019
Union Pacific Railroad and Norfolk Southern Railway announced a series of changes to cross-country service, which will require a crosstown drayage in Chicago for a number of international loads heading to and from ports.
29 May 2019
Although last week’s Surface Transportation Board hearing didn’t include intermodal, shippers complain about penalties assessed when their cargo arrives on a Friday night and their warehouses are closed until Monday.
28 May 2019
Economists and shipping industry leaders warn the US-China trade war could be a potential tipping point for a global economy that was already cooling before President Donald Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods.
24 May 2019
Panel says shippers need to be proactive in negotiating different terms into their contracts to protect themselves when no chassis are available for final delivery.
24 May 2019
The Federal Maritime Commission briefed the STB this week about the efforts of Memphis shippers and truckers to establish a chassis pool to eliminate a common cause of rail demurrage penalties.
21 May 2019
Retail giants Walmart and Amazon have entered into conversations directly with Class I railroads to enter in service agreements, bucking the historical structure in which shippers are required to use intermediaries to procure space.
20 May 2019
At a time when freight volumes should be increasing, they’re slowing, casting a shadow over the outlook for US trucking and intermodal rail operators.
17 May 2019
J.B. Hunt Transport Services has received a license to be a non-vessel operating common carrier and ocean freight forwarder to take greater control of the transportation of its containers and chassis from China.
09 May 2019
BNSF Railway, Norfolk Southern, and CSX say domestic intermodal contract rates have risen by upper single-digit percentages in the first quarter, but some non-asset intermodal marketing companies tell quite a different story.
08 May 2019
Historically, intermodal rail has offered a slower, lower-cost option for shippers, but with truckload prices falling, intermodal rail is now more expensive than trucking in some secondary markets.
03 May 2019
Union Pacific Railroad will be closing the Global III terminal northwest of Chicago as part of its precision scheduled railroading operations in a shakeup that will send domestic intermodal volumes to Global II and international traffic to Global IV.
Top 50 Trucking Companies 2018
22 Apr 2019
The 50 largest US trucking operators grabbed a larger share of the market, while smaller carriers raised the bar in terms of revenue growth last year thanks to the strongest freight market since the 2009 recession.
18 Apr 2019
Slowing international growth and declining domestic volume in the first quarter point to the worst performance in intermodal since the freight recession ended in late 2016.
17 Apr 2019
Intermodal volume will be down for many of the Class I railroads and trucking companies providing intermodal service, and although weather is an excuse, larger questions remain about the sector in the short and long term.
11 Apr 2019
North American intermodal volume ended the first quarter worse than initially forecast due to changing shipping patterns and flooding in the Midwest, but there are signs that this is an inflection point to a difficult 2019 and not a fleeting blip.
04 Apr 2019
With cross-border freight already delayed and logistics costs rising, businesses must plan for a potential closure of the US-Mexico border threatened by President Trump.
04 Apr 2019
After a nationwide trucker strike last May, transportation providers like Maersk and Brazilian railroad Brado are taking a multimodal approach to avoid becoming overly dependent on a volatile trucking market.
28 Mar 2019
Domestic intermodal volume will decline on a quarterly basis for the first time since 2016 to begin this year, but it’s still unclear whether the drop in shipments is a worrisome trend or a result of comparisons to an extraordinary 2018.
25 Mar 2019
Although the 2018 imports and intermodal shipments were inflated somewhat due to the tariffs, the 10-year trend has been increased transloading of imports to domestic containers in Southern California.
Ari Ashe, associate editor
25 Mar 2019
Ari Ashe, associate editor, JOC
Ari Ashe, associate editor
18 Mar 2019
Ari Ashe, associate editor, JOC.com, discusses his outlook for intermodal fluidity in 2019, following a challenging 2018 where intermodal volume grew more than anticipated.
15 Mar 2019
Should shipment volumes of privately owned domestic containers continue to outpace those of rail-owned units, it will have major implications for the future of non-asset intermodal retailers.
11 Mar 2019
Two projects will add more than 28,000 square feet of new track inside the US East Coast's largest port, most of which will be used to store empty rail cars and build trains.
05 Mar 2019
The state has revived a project to raise the ceiling of CSX's Howard Street Tunnel to and from the Port of Baltimore in an effort to attract more Midwest cargo.
04 Feb 2019
Trucking operator Schneider National is evolving to meet increased shipper expectations by harnessing new technology, adapting to new customer requirements, and focusing on higher productivity.
01 Feb 2019
The US economy won't run off the road this year, but keep an eye on trade, tariffs, and 2020, economists say at SMC3's Jump Start 2019 event.
An intermodal train travels in the United States.
14 Jan 2019
Class I railroads face uncertainty in global trade, as well challenges in service and pricing, to keep momentum going in 2019.
An intermodal train in the United States.
08 Jan 2019
If price is how intermodal separates itself from trucking, railroads should think hard about rates.
Trucks travel on a US highway.
16 Nov 2018
Higher freight volumes and shipper spending reported by the Cass Freight Index show that while the US economy may be expanding more slowly in late 2018, it is not on the verge of a contraction.
Samskip.
19 Oct 2018
The new Amsterdam link will provide greater service resilience for the Netherlands-Italy rail option, as the connections to the two Dutch ports will run on different routes, enabling a flexible response to any rail-related or port-related delays, according to Samskip UK trade manager David Besseling.