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

20 Jan 2022
CSX Transportation CEO James Foote told federal regulators he will look to increase headcount at the Class I railroad as it seeks to take more business from trucking
National Industrial Transportation League President and CEO Bruce Carlton
19 May 2014
For the first time since the 2008-09 Great Recession, shippers have a “small smile on their faces” when it comes to the economy, National Industrial Transportation League President and CEO Bruce Carlton said. Their increasing optimism in the economy, however, doesn’t quell their concerns over a myriad of other issues, from tightening capacity to infrastructure investment. Carlton recently spoke with JOC senior editors William B. Cassidy and Mark Szakonyi about the expectations NITL members have for the coming months.
Randy Bayles
15 May 2014
Norfolk Southern's Randy Bayles, director of international intermodal, on what the West Coast labor uncertainty really means, as well as East Coast capacity-adding measures, short-haul intermodal and inland port projects.
14 May 2014
WASHINGTON — A key report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration this fall will go a long way toward determining how committed politicians and business leaders are to taking the North American Free Trade Agreement to the next level.
Three trains a day shuttle between the SEAT plant and the Port of Barcelona.
14 May 2014
BARCELONA, Spain — In the middle of the rolling coastal mountains near this Mediterranean seaport a huge auto plant sprawls. The SEAT plant, which serves as the headquarters of Spain’s only domestic automaker, makes four different models, three under SEAT brand names and the Audi Q3, which is part of the family of cars produced by Volkswagen of Germany, which acquired control of the Spanish company in 1986. Most of the plant’s production is bound for export markets in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Bill Clement
12 May 2014
Bill Clement, CSX Transportation vice president, on misconceptions about intermodal's ability to reach smaller and mid-tier markets, the ease of highway-to-rail cargo conversion and CSX expansions this year.
12 May 2014
How fast U.S. and Canadian railroads can improve their intermodal services over the next several weeks, after a devastating winter, will determine how much domestic volume growth they will see this year.
12 May 2014
A new fixed-day, weekly container rail service links Moscow to the Far East of Russia, and Ruscon, the operator, plans to dispatch more container trains between central and eastern Russia in the “near future.”
UP intermodal train
08 May 2014
Union Pacific Railroad appears to be taking advantage of shippers’ frustrations with BNSF Railway service between the Pacific Northwest and Chicago — one of the busiest North American intermodal lanes — by launching its own service between Portland and Chicago.
IDS Top 36 Lane Index
06 May 2014
Intermodal rates in the U.S. dropped for a third straight week as transportation through Chicago recovers from wintertime snarls.
Snow in Chicago.
02 May 2014
CHICAGO — Chicago is living up to its reputation as the nation’s transportation bottleneck.
29 Apr 2014
Some shippers this winter couldn’t deal with tightening truck capacity by shifting loads to intermodal trains even if they wanted to.
24 Apr 2014
U.S. intermodal should see another year of robust demand, provided that rail service recovers following service disruptions in the first quarter, according to an executive from Hub Group.
24 Apr 2014
Norfolk Southern Railway said it expects to “get some uplift in intermodal pricing” for about a third of its intermodal business, as truck capacity tightens and over-the-road rates increase as a result.
23 Apr 2014
Canadian Pacific Railway said it is increasing its domestic intermodal volume at a pace that by the end of the year will more than offset the loss of three container line contracts.
22 Apr 2014
The Port of Tacoma is working with the two western railroads, its local provider (Tacoma Rail), cargo transloaders, Washington State exporters and trans-Pacific ocean carriers to enhance intermodal rail service from the port.
Union Pacific Railroad locomotives in Santa Teresa, N.M.
21 Apr 2014
SANTA TERESA, N.M. — There’s not much out here other than roads, warehouses and cacti — and now a sprawling Union Pacific Railroad intermodal terminal and fueling station. Secluded as it is, what happens at this $400 million facility in a desert framed by mountains ripples through UP’s 32,000-mile U.S. network and taps into one of the largest trends in transportation rail: domestic rail growth.
Norbert Dentressangle rose to 24th from 29th after acquiring Fiege’s logistics operations in Italy, Spain and Portugal.
21 Apr 2014
The world’s largest third-party logistics providers showed minuscule growth in 2013 for the second consecutive year, as sluggish trade growth affected forwarding volume and other 3PL segments saw only modest increases.
17 Apr 2014
Kansas City Southern Railway appears confident the Mexican government won’t require it to open up its track to competitors as legislation had threatened last fall.
16 Apr 2014
U.S. rail traffic is returning to normal after one of the coldest winters in recent memory, Bradley Thrasher, vice president and general manager of industrial products at the Union Pacific Railroad, told the Los Angeles Transportation Club April 15.
16 Apr 2014
CSX Transportation said rail service will “gradually” improve and that it was reasonable to expect operations to return to normal by the end of June, following a harsh winter that snarled operations and created a backlog of freight.
15 Apr 2014
J.B. Hunt Transport Services appears back on track for intermodal growth, reflecting a broader pickup in intermodal following delays, disruptions and depressed volumes in the first quarter blamed on severe weather.
11 Apr 2014
TUCSON, Ariz. — Intermodal service delays at Union Pacific Railway and CSX Transportation will end in roughly two to four weeks following a harsh winter that wrecked havoc on the railroads’ networks, rail representatives said at a conference on April 10.
10 Apr 2014
Bulk rail shippers ranging from agriculture to coal producers told the U.S. Surface Transportation Board today that poor rail service must be solved before their business suffers even more.
10 Apr 2014
The Senate yesterday confirmed President Obama’s nomination to the Surface Transportation Board, thrusting Debra Miller into the rail regulatory agency as it grapples with a myriad of issues.
09 Apr 2014
Shippers moved more freight and spent more to do so in March and the first quarter, despite weather-related supply chain disruptions, Cass Information Systems finds.
08 Apr 2014
European ports will struggle to handle the revamped services due to be launched by the P3 and G6 carrier alliances due to their weak intermodal transport links, according to Drewry Maritime Research.
James Hertwig
07 Apr 2014
James Hertwig, president and CEO of the Florida East Coast Railway, discusses the railroad’s preparations for the opening of the expansion of the Panama Canal, through projects at the Port of Miami, Port Everglades and the South Florida Logistics Center.
03 Apr 2014
One of the largest Mexican rail shippers said it supports more regulation of the country's three major railroads but is against a proposal being debated in Mexico City that would require the country’s two rail concession holders to share their lines with third parties.
02 Apr 2014
WASHINGTON — The U.S.
Top 36 lane index, week of March 31, 2014. Source: IDS Transportation Services, LLC
02 Apr 2014
An index of 36 major U.S. intermodal lanes climbed 1.9 percent or $40 from the week before to $2,166 in the week of March 31, the eleventh weekly increase in the fourteen weeks of 2014 so far, according to data on all-inclusive 53-foot door-to-door spot pricing quoted by railroads and provided by the 3PL IDS. Rates have climbed 6.7 percent since the beginning of 2014 and are up 7.3 percent from the rate one year ago, when it stood at $2,019.
01 Apr 2014
Logistics firm DHL has signed a new agreement to provide rail freight services between China and Europe via a strategic partnership with United Transport and Logistics Company, a joint venture between OJSC Russian Railways, JSC National Company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy and state-owned Belarusian Railway.
01 Apr 2014
WASHINGTON — Following many shippers’ complaints of poor rail service, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board said today it will hear on April 10 from Class I carriers and their customers on what can done to improve service.
01 Apr 2014
Transportation writer Greg Knowler joined the JOC today as senior editor for Asia.
BMW exports autos through Port of Charleston
01 Apr 2014
South Carolina’s new inland port at Greer will get a big increase in the volume of autos and containers it handles for rail shipment to and from the Port of Charleston over the next couple of years. The leg up will come from the $1 billion investment that BMW announced March 28 to expand production at its automobile plant in nearby Spartanburg over the next two years.
31 Mar 2014
WASHINGTON — Some U.S. and Canadian railcar shippers could get some pricing relief if efforts in Washington, D.C., and Ottawa to change switching rules take effect.