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 National Railways also operate in the United States.  

News & Analysis

11 Nov 2019
In the heart of what is supposed to be peak season, rail container traffic is not only much slower than a year ago, but also behind 2017 levels as well — and truck seems sluggish, too.
A freight train travels across China.
31 Oct 2018
Further, Asia-Europe rail is a trade transport mode in demand: shipper demand for a faster alternative to ocean freight is driving the rising volume and rapid development of new services on the intercontinental rail route.
Rotterdam port.
30 Oct 2018
The volume increases at Rotterdam and Antwerp come despite a steady decline in container imports from Asia that can be seen in the latest data from Container Trades Statistics.
A freight train travels across China.
29 Oct 2018
China is expected to begin enforcing a rule early in 2019 that will allow only full trains leaving for Europe to be subsidized, but judging from the industry reaction to the move, it is not expected to have much impact on the rapidly expanding network.
Rail intermodal in the United States.
25 Oct 2018
Money can address some factors, but until several key checkpoints in a container’s journey address operational inefficiencies, bottlenecks will persist, consultants and industry executives said at the JOC Inland Distribution Conference this week.
Jim Tompkins, Tompkins International.
24 Oct 2018
The latest news from the JOC Inland Distribution Conference in Oak Brook, Illinois. Check back with this document frequently for the latest news and insights from key logistics, shipping, and trade decision makers.
A truck travels in California, United States.
23 Oct 2018
Two major developments have produced unusually strong price increases in both international and domestic freight movement this year, analysts on Tuesday told more than 370 attendees of the JOC Inland Distribution Conference.
Kansas City Southern Railway.
22 Oct 2018
Tight trucking capacity after the Mexico government introduced new regulations on truckers, along with congestion at the Pacific Coast Port of Manzanillo, have boosted Kansas City Southern's volume.
Trucks travel on a highway in near Toronto, Canada.
19 Oct 2018
The electronic logging device rule imposed in the United States in November has already affected Canadian trucking, both cross-border and domestic services.
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.
A rail freight yard in France.
18 Oct 2018
This could be the best of times for Europe’s rail freight operators: the dominant trucking sector is short drivers and capacity, fuel prices are rising, and toll roads are boosting rates; meanwhile, barges still face congestion at Rotterdam and Antwerp. But can rail seize the day?
Chennai Port rail.
17 Oct 2018
The revamped/upgraded rail link, which had its first train depart from Chennai on Monday with 80 TEU, is intended to speed freight handled via the government’s two flagship supply chain reforms — direct port delivery for imports and direct port entry for factory-stuffed exports.
CSX Transportation.
17 Oct 2018
CSX is the only Class I railroad offering better train speeds and lower terminal dwell times while volumes are on the rise.
An intermodal train travels in the United States.
17 Oct 2018
Echoing analysis regarding the trans-Pacific, some analysts believe shippers tried to beat US tariffs on a slew of Chinese-made goods by moving up cargo activity into July.
An intermodal travels through California, United States.
10 Oct 2018
This has been a record year for US intermodal rail, but changes in shipping patterns apparently have lowered the autumn intermodal peak — or broken it into two smaller peaks.
A truck stop in Nevada, United States.
08 Oct 2018
Transplace, with headquarters in Frisco, Texas, near Dallas, has been growing rapidly in recent years and expects to move $8 billion through its network this year.
A UPS truck travels in San Francisco, California, United States.
05 Oct 2018
From warehousing to trucking, US employers are rushing to get workers in place for the peak shipping season — and another, likely substantial, increase in end-of-year e-commerce purchases and deliveries.
CSX Transportation.
05 Oct 2018
The announcement is yet another decision to condense CSX’s vast intermodal network into precision scheduled railroading.
A freight train travels across China.
04 Oct 2018
China’s government has invested billions in the China-Europe rail network, and volume, propelled by subsidies, has surged. However, those subsidies have created other downsides for shippers and the broader market.
Intermodal freight train, Kansas, United States.
03 Oct 2018
It’s an axiom that certainly applies in the current US intermodal market: shop around. Even if they’re under contract, not every rate is better than spot truckload. And these price comparisons can save shippers money when every cent counts towards remaining within transportation budgets.
Rotterdam port.
03 Oct 2018
Rising transportation costs, the driver shortage, and accompanying rail and barge congestion have created challenging times for Europe’s shippers, to say the least. And then there’s the Brexit summit in two weeks.
Port of New York and New Jersey.
02 Oct 2018
The Port of New York and New Jersey is looking for ways to increase the storage space for empty rail cars to prevent shortages as discretionary cargo volumes rise.
CSX Transportation.
02 Oct 2018
It’s the latest move in a shifting vision at CSX for the terminal, which the railroad hopes to make a central hub for Ohio freight but also includes logistical challenges for shippers and truckers.
Russia Trans-Siberian Railroad.
02 Oct 2018
The new route connects the South Korean port of Busan and Russia’s port of St. Petersburg and involves the port of Vladivostok as a transit hub and then the Trans-Siberian Railway to move container cargo to Russia and other European destinations.
Rhine-Alpine Gateway.
02 Oct 2018
The Rhine-Alpine Gateway is one of Europe’s most important rail routes connecting the Mediterranean ports with the economic heartland of Central Europe, handling half of the trade between northern Europe and Italy via Switzerland.
Union Pacific Railroad.
01 Oct 2018
Union Pacific has doubled surcharges on rail shippers tendering excess freight out of Los Angeles. The railroad wants to carefully control volume because it believes that will lead to good service. Shippers can view this as a natural high point in pricing or shop around for a truck to see if the rate is competitive.
A BNSF train travels near the Port of Long Beach.
28 Sep 2018
By improving connectivity in the harbor through more on-dock rail, smoother hand-offs from the vessel to rail, and more timely and accurate data flow, West Coast ports will offer shippers a more attractive package for shipping discretionary cargo through their gateways to the eastern half of the United States, Los Angeles and Long Beach port executives agree.
An intermodal train in Kansas, United States.
26 Sep 2018
Front-loading, probably prompted by concern about tariffs, has affected US intermodal transport this peak season, as well as ocean transport, creating a quieter rail September. However, shippers should note there are some signs of conditions heating up in a key section of the United States that could be a harbinger.
GCT Deltaport intermodal rail.
24 Sep 2018
Vancouver, Canada’s largest container port, until now has been limited in its capacity to grow by a lack of surge capacity at its rail operations, which serve eastern Canada and the US Midwest.
Georgia Ports Authority executive director Griff Lynch.
20 Sep 2018
The future looks bright in Savannah for beneficial cargo owners. Volume is increasing, market share is growing, and Georgia Ports Authority officials have a strong vision — including a bold TEU goal — to continue the upward momentum by expanding services and fixing its shortcomings to keep its place as the top port in the US Southeast.
China-Europe rail.
20 Sep 2018
The China-Europe rail services have been growing rapidly as shippers seek a price/time middle ground to that offered by costly-in-comparison and faster air cargo services to cheaper but slower ocean routing.
Wilmington, North Carolina.
18 Sep 2018
The biggest disruption is for truckers traveling Interstate 95 through the Carolinas. Flooding has shut down most of I-95 in North Carolina, except for a nine-mile stretch.
Union Pacific Railroad.
18 Sep 2018
Precision railroading’s supporters argue that by running longer trains and eliminating waste, shippers will receive a higher level of service. Critics argue it prioritizes shareholders over service.
Hurricane Florence.
13 Sep 2018
The hurricane headed for the Carolinas as of Thursday, with the ports of Savannah and Virginia having reduced exposure.
12 Sep 2018
Revenue from 53-foot trailer-on-flat-car (TOFC) moves in the North America is up in a big way this year, so far, through August. But is 53-foot TOFC revenue an accurate leading indicator of overall domestic intermodal demand?
A train in Bangldesh.
11 Sep 2018
The two projects will improve rail transport across Bangladesh, a more-direct route, with time and tariff savings likely for shippers.