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

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.
Union Pacific Railroad.
08 Aug 2018
Union Pacific sent a notice to shippers Friday that the UMAX interline service would cease in 197 lanes on Sept. 17, blaming CSX Transportation service changes. CSX said the service change was necessary to manage evolving needs, the first step in CEO Jim Foote’s vision to implement precision railroading into the intermodal network.
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.
08 Aug 2018
Direct port delivery — in which importers can clear their cargo direct from the wharf within 48 hours of landing at the port — is an integral part of the Indian government’s efforts to decrease cargo dwell times and increase productivity.
A truck travels in Mexico.
07 Aug 2018
Cargo owners and transporters are fighting back against theft — and they’re deploying new tools and strategies, in what will have to be a comprehensive effort to adequately address the problem.
A freight train in Mexico.
06 Aug 2018
Like other emerging markets, it is a “bad news, good news,” circumstance for Mexico. The bad: surface transportation and logistics operations are straining to meet shipper demands. The good: Mexico appears to have arrived on the global trade stage, with all key metrics advancing.
A freight train travels in Russia.
05 Aug 2018
China-to-Europe via Russia rail transport has been in an uptrend since 2013, and global growth and consumer trends point to even stronger growth ahead if rail officials can meet the infrastructure and related needs of shippers.
PSA International Rail Yard.
03 Aug 2018
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust handles the majority of India’s container freight and, as such, the government is extremely keen on reducing cargo dwell times there.
A Hapag-Lloyd ship.
30 Jul 2018
At mid-2018, nearly every segment of Europe’s supply chain is straining to keep pace with strong container shipping volume growth — particularly barge and inland haulage. The good news is Europe’s impressive trade growth story continues — a welcomed economic rejuvenation.
CSX Transportation.
27 Jul 2018
Although CSX’s new CEO is a follower of the late, great E. Hunter Harrison’s precision railroading, there are reasons shippers should look for a softer approach to their concerns.
A truck travels on a road in Russia.
26 Jul 2018
Unlike rail and ocean transportation, Russian auto transport, which accounts for almost 75 percent of all container cargo delivered in Russia, is very non-transparent, with limited statistics available, and that has led to criticism by shippers.
Antwerp port.
26 Jul 2018
It is another bad news, good news statistic for Antwerp and Rotterdam. The bad: an intermodal operator has warned that barge congestion is already causing delays of up to 36 hours at Antwerp and 72 hours at Rotterdam. The good: container volume growth continues to shine.
Intermodal containers on a train in the US.
25 Jul 2018
Tariffs on containers are unwarranted and will needlessly raise costs throughout the supply chain, business leaders testifying on Capitol Hill agreed.
An intermodal freight train.
24 Jul 2018
A variety of factors, including strong domestic US freight demand, is putting pressure on cross-border trucking between Mexico and the United States.
Canadian National Railway.
24 Jul 2018
Jean-Jacques Ruest has been with Canadian National since 1996, spending the last eight years as executive vice president.
Port of Prince Rupert.
23 Jul 2018
The Northwest Seaport Alliance argues the market share loss is due to cheaper intermodal rail rates, but Prince Rupert says that is not the case — that two other factors are driving its value proposition.
20 Jul 2018
E-commerce and high-speed rail are enabling China-Europe rail services to give the air cargo industry a run for its money.
17 Jul 2018
US tariffs on Chinese imports are threatening to not only increase costs for shippers, but also force them to pay more for the equipment they use.
16 Jul 2018
US shippers are desperate for surface capacity and turning to modes they previously shunned as a result.
16 Jul 2018
Asia-Europe shippers are looking more at southern European ports as intermodal bottlenecks slow container delivery through some of the big North Europe gateways.
16 Jul 2018
Authorities at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust believe less free time for rail shipments would improve port operations, but shipping agents are dubious.
Union Pacific Railroad.
13 Jul 2018
There's no 'leisurely summer' for Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz; he's working to build capacity and work through short-run imbalances, while bracing for impact of trade disputes.
BNSF US Montana
12 Jul 2018
In the past, resourceful supply chain managers always had alternatives in their hip pocket to meet the unexpected, for a price. Not this year. In 2018, shippers should not expect surge freight capacity.
A warehouse in the United States.
10 Jul 2018
Shippers that use the Port of New York and New Jersey may find that Syracuse offers an attractive option once a rail-linked inland port is built. But will its lower rent offset higher logistics costs?
A BNSF intermodal freight train in Illinois, United States.
10 Jul 2018
US beneficial cargo owners will face unprecedented challenges using intermodal this peak season. Still, there are time-tested tactics that will ensure the best possible transportation result.
Trucks travel in the Netherlands.
10 Jul 2018
Above-trend GDP growth is boosting the continent's commerce, and that’s triggered a steady uptrend in trucking rates, amid tighter capacity — and several factors suggest an even more challenging transport market is ahead for logistics planners and transportation managers.
Chassis at the Port of Long Beach.
09 Jul 2018
Efficient supply chains contain the premise that for every container there is a chassis available. But don't tell shippers that, as the issue has been a thorn in their side and that of other container trade stakeholders for nearly a decade.
Chassis photo by Hugh R. Morley.
03 Jul 2018
Although intermodal traffic has increased 26 percent in five years, chassis repair companies can’t hire people fast enough to keep pace, due to the US labor shortage, job hopping in the sector, and candidates simply seeking easier work. Shippers will ultimately see the problem in the form of chassis shortages.
Swiss Federal Railways.
28 Jun 2018
Europe’s rail and truck transport systems are at a pivotal moment. The two could complement each other and help meet the likely 30 percent increase in European cargo expected by 2030. However, turf protecting could still rule the day, especially if rail views truck platooning as a threat.
A Nippon Express train.
28 Jun 2018
Nippon is expanding cross-border services as Asia-Europe demand increases and as five Mekong subregion countries adopt an agreement that could serve as a trade model for other regions.
Port of Vancouver.
27 Jun 2018
Shippers that had cargo delayed at Canada’s west coast ports last winter will monitor that region's ports and railroads to gauge whether service and infrastructure changes have resolved all issues.
Union Pacific Railroad in California.
27 Jun 2018
Yusen Terminals in Los Angeles, where Union Pacific is adjusting to a consolidation of shipments from the three former lines that formed the Ocean Network, is a major focus of the railroad’s attention.
The Port of Rotterdam.
22 Jun 2018
Despite a container consolidation partnership among marine terminals, inland shipping companies, and inland centers, barge operators say there's been little improvement in reducing barge delays during peak times — something one intermodal services provider argued was due to not having enough handling capacity during peak times.
Port of New York and New Jersey.
21 Jun 2018
Two proposals moving forward at the Port of New York and New Jersey to cut truck moves and curb pollution would provide alternative routes for shippers moving cargo to or from Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island by rail.
21 Jun 2018
Sponsored: CP's Wahba on Asia, West Coast market demand, and 2018 intermodal expansion.
Toronto skyline.
19 Jun 2018
The Canadian economy is “humming,” an economist says, but can it outrun trade disputes with its largest trading partner?
Port of Prince Rupert.
19 Jun 2018
Beneficial cargo owners in eastern Canada and the US Midwest should welcome the expansion as a step toward preventing a return of the congestion that Prince Rupert experienced last winter.