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

28 May 2020
Norfolk Southern Railway has begun on-dock rail service from the Port of Baltimore, replacing an offsite yard, as part of a larger effort to make intermodal more attractive to BCOs using the port.
31 Jan 2020
JOC Inland Distribution Conference Panelist Kristy Knichel discusses 2020 customer budget concerns, opportunities, and the ups and downs of precision scheduled railroading.
29 Jan 2020
Railroads and intermodal providers say there will be more volume in 2020 than last year, although shipper demand will not fully recover until the second half of this year.
UP to resume service on nearly 60 lanes it cut in 2018
28 Jan 2020
Union Pacific Railroad will resume service on nearly 60 previously eliminated lanes beginning Feb. 1, a move it linked to its precision scheduled railroading operation, but others said was designed to win back lost market share.
27 Jan 2020
Despite stiff truck competition, East Coast ports have taken aggressive steps to capture more intermodal cargo and spend significant capital to build out rail infrastructure.
CN taking more hands-on approach to create ‘Prince Rupert’ of the east
24 Jan 2020
CN’s new approach to developing the ports of Halifax and Quebec comes after its limited success in growing intermodal volumes out of the Port of Montreal.
21 Jan 2020
The migration of North American import cargo from west to east has been accelerating, a trend that could have negative implications for Inland Point Intermodal (IPI).
New services, auto growth to drive Mexican intermodal gains in 2020
17 Jan 2020
Despite Mexico’s sluggish economy, the intermodal sector could see benefits in 2020 from the expected implementation of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement and new rail services.
17 Jan 2020
Dedicated contract carriage, final-mile service, and a digital marketplace helped carry J.B. Hunt through a tough fourth-quarter intermodal and trucking market.
16 Jan 2020
Touting it as a game-changing move, Indian Railways has opened consultations with stakeholders to introduce double-stack “dwarf container” train operations at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in a bid to better compete with over-the-road haulers.
10 Jan 2020
The intermodal picture at the start of 2020 is lackluster because the trucking market isn’t on the verge of a major rebound unless there is an economic catalyst.
10 Jan 2020
"While spot rates are down compared to last year.. we are creating a new norm." Lee Klaskow, senior analyst of transportation and logistics for Bloomberg Intelligence, discusses challenges for 2020 and provides a recap of his freight outlook panel discussion at the JOC Inland Distribution Conference in late 2019.
07 Jan 2020
The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement may speed the processing of goods at US borders, but won’t necessarily speed transportation at the congested Mexican border, experts warn. That will require further investment in infrastructure and technology.
03 Jan 2020
The country's government is looking to improve cargo fluidity at key seaports and border crossings — and reduce traffic on congested roads — via increased use of intermodal rail and a new marine highway program.
02 Jan 2020
Union Pacific Railroad has been suffering technical issues with its gates at Chicago’s Global 4 terminal, causing major congestion and delays in cargo deliveries.
02 Jan 2020
After an unprecedented volume decline in 2019, continued excess trucking capacity, further transitioning to precisions scheduled railroading, and slowing economic growth portends another difficult year for the US intermodal market.
31 Dec 2019
US intermodal, particularly domestic volume, has a tough road ahead given low spot truckload rates that will continue to push freight to the highway, but the sector could see some improvement in the second half.
30 Dec 2019
As volumes on the China–Europe rail route continue to grow, stakeholders are looking at ways to make the network more efficient, as well as potential reforms to the system of subsidies that fund operations.
30 Dec 2019
Chronic cross-border trucking delays serve as a reminder of how fragile the freight connection between the United States and its largest trading partner continues to be.
30 Dec 2019
Going into 2020, chassis providers in the US are hopeful that fleet upgrades over the last two years have made the network more resilient, while also acknowledging that there is still little they can do to absorb sudden, unanticipated spikes in cargo.
23 Dec 2019
With economic growth expected to slow and relations between the United States and its largest trading partners still in flux, cargo owners are expecting low but sustained demand and increased pricing pressure in the coming year.
20 Dec 2019
Senior Trucking Editor Bill Cassidy provides highlights from the 2019 JOC Inland Transportation conference in Chicago, discussing technology, customer demand, and the keynote speech by J.B. Hunt's Shelley Simpson.
20 Dec 2019
The JOC.com editorial team has identified 10 trends every shipper, carrier, and third-party logistics provider should be watching in the upcoming year.
17 Dec 2019
Traffic problems that slowed trucks in BNSF’s Lot 16 outside of Chicago have been resolved through a partnership between the railroad and an Intermodal Cartage-owned yard operator.
J.B. Hunt, JDA latest to join broker-TMS integration trend
09 Dec 2019
Brokers with digital freight marketplaces continue to partner with widely used TMS providers to give users of those systems direct access to electronic capacity and booking capabilities, while the marketplaces get an influx of direct shippers customers.
06 Dec 2019
IHS Markit points to a “modest upturn” in the US economy, with consumer demand keeping freight in motion.
05 Dec 2019
The Port of Baltimore has moved a step closer to sending double-stacked trains to the Midwest through the Howard Street Tunnel, securing the last portion of the $466 million needed to fund the project.
04 Dec 2019
Shippers looking to move cargo through Central New York State now have the option of using a new inland port opened by CSX Transportation in Syracuse.
28 Nov 2019
Despite the lifting of Russian sanctions on the transit of agricultural products through its territory, some big issues stand in the way of rising volume.
27 Nov 2019
The bluster of trade war rhetoric continues on both sides of the Pacific as a Phase One deal is hammered out. Until then, look to the intermodal system to show the truth on the movement of trade.
26 Nov 2019
If the heavy support of subsidies from China was withdrawn quickly, it is likely only higher-value products would be viable on the China-Europe rail network.
26 Nov 2019
Barring a major turnaround in December, BNSF Railway and CSX Transportation will record their lowest annual intermodal volumes this year since 2016, and two other Class I railroads could possibly join that list.
26 Nov 2019
The week-long strike by workers at Canadian National Railroad will end Tuesday after the railroad and Teamsters reached a contract agreement that will go to the union membership for ratification.
25 Nov 2019
There have been no serious backlogs yet at Canadian container ports as the Canadian National Railway strike enters its seventh day, but the harsh winter of 2017-18 showed that once a disruption occurs, congestion mounts rapidly.
25 Nov 2019
JOC LogTech19 panel recap on technology investment disconnects as well as possibilities for smoothing the freight interchange between international and domestic modes.