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

18 Sep 2020
As container volume has picked up, trucking and logistics executives say that CSX’s domestic intermodal service has become unreliable in two key southeast US rail ramps.
10 Jun 2020
The focus of IPI has been moving away from the US West Coast toward the East Coast and Western Canada. This has big implications for individual railroads, but also broader impacts regarding shorter length of haul and diminishing industry revenue per move.
09 Jun 2020
Intermodal is not seeing the same rebound in demand as trucking since the economic shutdown owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, and research firm FTR Associates does not believe containerized rail volume will fully recover to 2019 levels until sometime in 2021.
05 Jun 2020
Europe’s rail freight industry is hoping to hold on to improvements made in reliability on a passenger-free network even as the easing of lockdowns bring back traveler movements that are afforded priority over cargo.
01 Jun 2020
The acquisition of FMIC from Chainalytics helps transform DAT Solutions into a broader freight intelligence business aimed at enabling shippers, brokers, and truckers to understand freight costs and pricing.
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.
21 May 2020
Domestic intermodal volume in April suffered its worst month in eight years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with intermodal marketing companies saying May might end as poorly, if not worse.
18 May 2020
Expectations for capacity, demand, and pricing across transportation modes in 2020 have been shattered by the COVID‑19 pandemic, resulting in recession.
11 May 2020
Forces have been set in motion that will slowly, but inexorably, change the supply chain status quo in myriad ways, most notably where freight is coming from and where it is going.
11 May 2020
A refrigerated rail service sold by Union Pacific Railroad to shippers has shut down amid the COVID-19 downturn in volumes and competition from rival BNSF Railway and other large IMCs.
08 May 2020
JOC’s Spot Intermodal Savings Index hit an 14-month low in a preliminary April reading, the first snapshot of how the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the math on how much money intermodal can save a shipper.
29 Apr 2020
Norfolk Southern Railway insists that no matter how far truck rates fall, it will not chase the market down by providing unsustainable rates to shippers, but rather focus on innovative ideas such as mixed trains.
24 Apr 2020
A new international distribution center in Houston blends US trucking and containerized imports as less-than-truckload carrier Averitt reaches deeper into US consumer markets.
23 Apr 2020
North American intermodal volume may plunge as much as 25 percent in the second quarter, so railroads believe the right strategy is to focus on cost-cutting while providing reliable service.
15 Apr 2020
J.B. Hunt Transport Services acknowledges a rough second quarter is ahead, while there’s much unknown about how severe the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on business conditions will be.
13 Apr 2020
Even in a situation as bad as the COVID-19 lockdown, there may be opportunity for domestic intermodal if the US Class I railroads can seize it — as they did following the Great Recession.
09 Apr 2020
Intermodal volume last week was the weakest in a nearly a decade as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has wreaked havoc on the railroads, which an industry analyst believes could cost Class I railroads $9 billion dollars.
08 Apr 2020
With much of the air freight capacity limited on routes to and from China, and more than 30 percent of the ocean capacity canceled, shippers are making greater use of rail services amid pandemic-related supply chain disruptions.
Top 50 Trucking Companies 2019
06 Apr 2020
The 50 largest US trucking operators in the United States saw revenue growth throttle back considerably in 2019, but 2020 is shaping up to be even worse.
01 Apr 2020
Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority this year will feel the declining revenue effects of the economic recession projected to impact Los Angeles and Long Beach and all North American ports.
17 Mar 2020
Although the economy had a fairly good head of steam coming into the crisis, its heavy reliance on the consumer will make it particularly vulnerable to the pullback in consumer spending that will result from the changes wrought by the coronavirus.
12 Mar 2020
With much of the ocean capacity withdrawn on the Asia–Europe trades, rail capacity is being quickly filled with Chinese export cargo as factories in China get back to work following coronavirus-related closures.
11 Mar 2020
The Mexican National Guard has ended a protestor blockade that halted trains on a Ferrosur rail line in southern Mexico, one of two incidents in which the federal security force helped free rail lines blocked by protestors in the last week.
09 Mar 2020
While Mexico’s Pacific Coast ports have so far seen little decline in cargo volumes due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), some logistics providers expect volumes to fall beginning this month.
06 Mar 2020
By laying the groundwork for increased competition between Kansas City Southern of Mexico (KCSM), which has no direct rail access to Veracruz at present, and Ferrosur, which does, the new two-rail link is positioned to drive not only service improvements, but volume growth.
28 Feb 2020
he ports of Halifax and Montreal are looking to resume normal operations following the removal of indigenous protest blockades that halted Canadian National Railway service into the East Coast gateways.
26 Feb 2020
Canadian ports on both coasts are working toward a return to normal operations amid the nearly three-week-long spate of rail blockades, with full rail service restored to the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, and some service back at the Port of Montreal.
26 Feb 2020
Domestic intermodal volumes rose in January year on year, but there is little else for intermodal marketing companies (IMCs) to feel good about right now.
24 Feb 2020
The dismantling of a protest blockade blocking the Canadian National Railway line at Tyendinaga Monday morning could signal the end of the two-week old blockade that has crippled the movement of cargo by rail across Canada.
Rail blockade forces Halifax ship diversions
20 Feb 2020
Halifax and the ports of Montreal and Vancouver have endured cargo backlogs at marine terminals and disruption to domestic and international shipments.
Texas inland port to offer rail link to Mexican manufacturers
19 Feb 2020
The developer of a Texas industrial park scheduled to open in early 2021 says it will work with Kansas City Southern of Mexico to offer a shorter, cheaper way for Mexican manufacturers to ship goods to Houston and other Texas markets.
Port of Prince Rupert rail restored
18 Feb 2020
A rail blockade in Ontario as part of a more than week-long First Nation protest against a proposed oil pipeline in Canada remains in place, and CN’s eastern Canadian network is at a near standstill.
14 Feb 2020
JOC's Bill Cassidy previews the trucking track at TPM20 (1-4 March), which will include East Coast intermodal/truck competition, West Coast transloading issues, shipper and editorial insights, and predictions on the overall health of the industry.
14 Feb 2020
Sponsored: NAI's Adam Roth on his "Rule of 1.5," and the transportation concerns that will impact real estate in 2020/2021. Roth discusses maritime and trucking regulations, precision scheduled railroading, and his bullish outlook on the market.
13 Feb 2020
Non-asset intermodal providers want railroads to be more lenient on container charges and late fees when bidding for shipper business in order to become more competitive with the likes of J.B. Hunt Transport Services.
11 Feb 2020
Railroads are more conciliatory in negotiating contract rates than a year ago, hungry to recapture freight lost to trucking. One logistics executive called the railroads’ stance “a complete 180 from last year.”