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

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.
Chicago with Lake Michigan.
07 Jun 2018
“No one’s coming to save us,” Bobby Harris, president and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics, tells shippers. He’s talking about the tight-capacity, high-priced, surface transportation market, which he expects will continue until late 2019. One BlueGrace solution — it is going to Chicago to hire help.
Train freight rail car yard Veracruz, Mexico.
01 Jun 2018
Shippers that move goods in Mexico will want to watch the upcoming election and post-election period closely for signs that the country’s incoming leader is prepared to take steps to crack down on the growing rail/truck cargo threat from thieves.
Port of Long Beach at sunset.
31 May 2018
Via frequent outreach to truckers, beneficial cargo owners, and railroads — including a culture change — Total Terminals International has gone from having the worst truck turn times at the ports of Los Angeles-Long Beach to becoming one of the more efficient terminals.
Canadian Pacific Railway.
30 May 2018
Less than 24 hours after engineers and conductors walked out and joined the picket line, Canadian Pacific Railway reached a tentative, four-year deal with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference.
The Port of Prince Rupert.
30 May 2018
Ocean carriers, shippers, and other business decision makers have big plans for Canada, where strong container trade growth is expected in the immediate years ahead. The key task now is to fully fund vital infrastructure improvement and expansion projects to maintain that promising momentum.
BSF Logistics Park, Chicago, Illinois, United States.
30 May 2018
Chassis splits — when a trucker is diverted to a second location for a chassis — are not new, but shippers and trucking companies are concerned about how these chassis shortages and splits throw off delivery windows, hours of service, and costs.
Dallas skyline.
29 May 2018
Integra, founded in 2003, has offices in Houston, Dallas, and Chicago and is also an intermodal marketing company and third-party logistics provider.
A freight train travels in Illinois, United States.
24 May 2018
The United States is early in trucking’s “new normal” era, but what is already clear is this: shippers will have to use all options — whether truckload, intermodal rail, less-than-truckload, or even package van — if they want to secure surface transportation capacity.
Intermodal rail in California.
24 May 2018
Railroads are no longer taking on new contracts for peak domestic intermodal business later this year out of Southern California. And that means small-size and mid-size shippers will likely be hurt the most because they don’t have the necessary volume to gain leverage in negotiations; they will be forced to supplement any truckload serve with record-high spot rates on the rails.
China Europe rail.
23 May 2018
It is widely known that government subsidies make the China-Europe rail a viable option, but the huge scale of this support is starting to emerge.
A truck travels on a US road.
21 May 2018
Most shippers say they can’t remember a US transportation market with capacity as tight and pricing as extreme. And shippers say securing capacity is still their priority, despite rates rising by double digits.
Maschen Rail Yard, Germany.
21 May 2018
Amid rising container volumes propelled by Europe/global economic growth, intermodal/rail has an opportunity to win transport market share, due to the continent’s barge congestion and truck driver shortage.
Chittagong Port.
21 May 2018
Congestion at the port is at its worst during the May-September, trans-Pacific, peak shipping season, but officials hope the additional capacity and introduction of round-the-clock operations will result in less congestion this year.
Port of Charleston, South Carolina.
18 May 2018
The Port of Charleston and CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway have extended their terminal hours owing to emergency cable repairs on the James B. Edwards Bridge over the Wando River, but beneficial cargo owners should expect longer transit times during the next four weeks.
CSX Transportation.
16 May 2018
Rail shippers will not be able to send domestic containers to Detroit as of Sept. 1. Nearly a year after eliminating 327 origin and destination pairs, CSX Transportation will be ending all domestic intermodal involving Detroit.
DP World's Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal at JNPT.
16 May 2018
Port leaders, however, expressed apprehension that any change in established operating practices could cause major commercial repercussions for Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in a hyper-competitive environment.
Trucks at a carrot farm in California.
15 May 2018
The electronic logging device mandate’s impact has rippled across supply chains, and there is no better example of that than the US agriculture export market.
A freight travels in Belarus.
11 May 2018
A confluence of factors have lengthened Asia-Europe freight train travel times.
Rail lines in Chittagong.
08 May 2018
The double-lane railway will facilitate transit between India’s Gede railway station and Bangladesh’s Khulna district, with the latter ultimately being connected to the Mongla seaport.
A CSX 53-foot container.
04 May 2018
Carriers adding 53-foot containers to their inventory will not end the US truck transport shortage in the immediate quarters ahead, but in a market as tight as US trucking, shippers will welcome every increase in capacity.
Port of Los Angeles.
01 May 2018
US shippers’ challenge in securing drayage capacity has eased since the peak eight weeks ago, but tightness persists in selected regions, and there are signs of more near-term difficulties.
Trucks on a US highway.
27 Apr 2018
With US truckload capacity tight, shippers are investigating any alternative method possible to get their freight off the docks.
A truck travels on a US road.
26 Apr 2018
Intel CEO Andrew Grove observed that the need for transformation could arise with the introduction of a different regulatory environment. Change is unavoidable, but strategic points of inflection are not always obvious in real-time. In the future, it’s likely that April 1, 2018 — the date electronic logging device enforcement “went live” — will be enshrined as a red-letter day for the industry.
A freight train in Kansas.
26 Apr 2018
The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation sent the nominations of Patrick Fuchs and Michelle Schultz to the full floor. If confirmed by the full Senate, they would join Ann Begeman and Deb Miller on the agency’s board.
Mundra Port.
25 Apr 2018
Mundra has used its strong rail link as a marketing tool, but new statistics indicate the private port's rail option has been a weakening magnet for more than six months.
Containers stacked at a port.
23 Apr 2018
Annual service contract negotiations between US importers from Asia and ocean carriers are moving slower than in past cycles. Beneficial cargo owners are holding out for lower rates, to offset rising supply chain costs elsewhere, but they may be disappointed by their efforts.
23 Apr 2018
It is the first time a price has been placed on a 51-day shutdown of one of the most important rail corridors in Europe — the Rhine Alpine gateway that handles about half of the trade between northern Europe and Italy via Switzerland.
21 Apr 2018
Sponsored: In an interview at the March 4-7, 2018 TPM Conference, CN Director of Marketing Lonny Kubas detailed the rail line's plans to bring dwell times back to 48-72 hours and increase velocity via its largest ever single-year investment. 
Canadian Pacific Railway.
20 Apr 2018
On the recommendation of federal mediators, the Canadian Minister of Labor directed the Industrial Relations Board to administer a ratification vote of Canadian Pacific Railway's final offer to the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The two unions described the situation as a "postponed strike" in a strongly worded statement urging their members to reject the offer.
An Amazon fulfillment center in Indiana.
19 Apr 2018
An explosion of e-commerce business is driving up rents at last-mile/last-touch fulfillment centers in urban core locations, and entrepreneurial truckers are finding ways to participate in this growing market. But the end result is a plus for beneficial cargo owners and consumers, as these developments enhance customer service and prevent final delivered costs from getting out of hand.
A freight train in Russia approaches Moscow.
19 Apr 2018
Cargo can now make the East Russia-Europe trip in about six to seven days, as opposed to 10 to 11 days previously, owing to railway improvements that enable higher speeds.
Kansas City Southern Railway.
19 Apr 2018
KCS will add a weekly container train between New Orleans and Dallas to feed empty containers to port and provide intermodal capacity to support imports. The Port of New Orleans is trying to leverage its newly acquired Public Belt short line to expand intermodal service.
port of Savannah.
18 Apr 2018
US Southeast ports are expanding inland, giving beneficial cargo owners in the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and other areas an intermodal opportunity to avoid the long, expensive dray to a port city — a significant option in a capacity-short US truck transport market.
The Port of Barcelona.
18 Apr 2018
It is a ‘good kind of problem’ to have: the Port of Barcelona faces a year ahead that will be hard to match, concerning volume, which means business boomed in 2017, and the outlook for 2018 is promising as well.
Port Metro Vancouver.
17 Apr 2018
With container dwell times back below three days, port stakeholders in Vancouver are now focusing on the issue at hand, which is to marshal assets and share operating strategies so they are not caught flat-footed by a spike in volumes in peak season 2018.