Rail & Intermodal

Rail & Intermodal

The latest news, analysis, and developments affecting rail transport globally. Rail transport in the United States is dominated by privately held Class I railroads such as BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway and Union Pacific Railroad. Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railways also operate in the United States.  

News & Analysis

21 Nov 2022
Lawmakers in Washington will face pressure to bridge the divide between rail labor and management because any job action could snarl supply chains in the weeks leading up to end-of-year holidays.
30 Jun 2022
Union Pacific Railroad will temporarily re-align its domestic intermodal network in Northern California to accommodate a construction project meant to expand container capacity in the region ahead of Schneider National bringing more volume in 2023.
30 Jun 2022
Elevated demand for rail cargo on the only viable China-Europe rail route continues to overwhelm the existing infrastructure, with congestion building at Central Asian intermodal points.
28 Jun 2022
Despite an almost 10 percent drop in the Port of Halifax’s first quarter volumes, Canadian National Railway has added a second daily train service in anticipation of a cargo rebound.
27 Jun 2022
With bottlenecks at inland rail hubs in Toronto and Montreal building and rail container backups likewise mounting in Vancouver and Prince Rupert, Canada’s West Coast ports could experience congestion problems for some time.
27 Jun 2022
BNSF Railway is stacking ocean containers outside Dallas as cargo owners struggle to unload inventory in a timely manner and chassis providers scramble to reposition equipment sent to Houston earlier this year.
23 Jun 2022
Three FMC members ask the STB not to approve the proposed merger of Canadian Pacific Railway and Kansas City Southern, saying the deal would result in the loss of cargo to Canadian ports.
22 Jun 2022
Despite softening spot rates in some modes, overall supply chain costs are rising, with higher interest rates putting more pressure on inventories, according to the CSCMP State of Logistics report.
21 Jun 2022
A new Norfolk Southern incentive program for ocean carriers in New York-New Jersey and Virginia should help grow volume while encouraging a balanced flow of rail cars between inland terminals and the two ports.
15 Jun 2022
Some US intermodal shippers are forgoing trains to put their spot freight on trucks because the cost savings associated with rail have narrowed significantly since January.
14 Jun 2022
Recent IPI activity shows that despite the focus shifting to railroads ahead of the next West Coast bottleneck, the decisions made by ocean carriers are the root cause of the problem, writes JOC analyst Larry Gross.
09 Jun 2022
A chassis shortage is forcing Norfolk Southern Railway to meter international intermodal loads through five inland markets as the railroad moves to keep its network fluid.
07 Jun 2022
Canada’s Class I railroads have been dealing with a surge of freight from Vancouver that has taxed a shrinking pool of available truckers across the country in Ontario.
07 Jun 2022
The chassis shortage is affecting Norfolk Southern despite a 5.1 percent decline in volumes handled by the railroad between January and May compared with the same period in 2021.
02 Jun 2022
The US Department of Transportation awarded Georgia $6 million to improve tracks that connect Savannah with the state’s first inland port.
02 Jun 2022
Union Pacific Railroad and Schneider National have engaged intermodal shippers in recent weeks to discuss their new partnership and attempt to dispel any concerns about service disruptions during the transition from BNSF.
01 Jun 2022
The Port of Baltimore will receive almost $16 million in additional federal funds that will complete on-dock rail improvements needed as part of the project to raise the Howard Street Tunnel for double-stack service.
01 Jun 2022
The only real option at present for rail cargo from China to Europe is the so-called “middle corridor,” even though the transit is often longer than ocean and 30 percent more expensive than the largely out-of-bounds northern alternative through Russia.
31 May 2022
A new multi-year agreement will allow Canadian Pacific to handle the majority of CMA CGM’s freight through Canada, underscoring the railroad’s aggressive approach to gaining international intermodal volume.
27 May 2022
BNSF Railway is congested in Chicago, Memphis, and Kansas City with not enough chassis to move ocean containers, but the railroad is taking several measures to alleviate the congestion.
27 May 2022
Union Pacific Railroad is warning that chassis supply could get tight soon in several US markets and it will not allow shippers to use their own private chassis if DCLI, TRAC Intermodal, and Flexi-Van Leasing run out of equipment.
26 May 2022
That growth in trucking volumes has outpaced that of intermodal over the past seven years should be cause for concern for the intermodal industry, writes Larry Gross, president and founder of Gross Transportation Consulting and a JOC analyst.
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.
24 May 2022
Norfolk Southern Railway is hopeful that intermodal service in Jacksonville, which has been inconsistent since January 2021, will improve as damaged cranes are repaired in the next two months.
20 May 2022
Norfolk Southern Railway is reducing service on 120 international intermodal lanes to simplify its network and improve service, but some companies are worried it will harm exporters and chassis supply.
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.
16 May 2022
Chassis shortages are disrupting rail ramps in Chicago for the second consecutive year, but cargo flow through other inland markets outside the Upper Midwest is more fluid than a year ago.
05 May 2022
Intermodal shippers saw record-high savings under contracts signed in Q1, but a recent slide in the spot truckload market could diminish the savings that rails can provide on one-off business over the next three months.
28 Apr 2022
Federal Maritime Commissioner Carl Bentzel wants the agency to regulate rail storage fees in certain cases when ocean containers cannot be picked up from an intermodal terminal through no fault of the cargo owner.
27 Apr 2022
Hapag-Lloyd has started a new Mediterranean service into the Port of Virginia that will also offer trans-continental intermodal service to the West Coast.
27 Apr 2022
Union Pacific Railroad at the end of June will begin revamping how it builds domestic intermodal trains in Southern California in a bid to improve service for all shippers.
27 Apr 2022
The longer the Chinese lockdowns last the more intense the scramble by US importers to secure factory production and transport capacity, potentially mirroring the whiplash of order cancellations in early 2020 that were followed by unprecedented demand.
26 Apr 2022
Federal Maritime Commissioner member Carl Bentzel said US Class I railroads need to hire and invest more to boost their intermodal service if the nation’s ports are to avoid future meltdowns and congestion.
26 Apr 2022
As domestic intermodal volumes rise, non-asset intermodal marketing companies are worried that US railroads are not buying enough 53-foot containers to support their shipper customers.
22 Apr 2022
COFC will buy 5,500 new containers in the next 12 months to provide a BNSF Railway alternative for Schneider customers who do not want to switch to Union Pacific Railroad in 2023.
21 Apr 2022
Intermodal volumes and service metrics declined in the first quarter for CSX and UP, though both US railroads believe they can hire more labor and haul more ocean containers in the coming months.