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

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.
A freight train travels in Russia.
04 Sep 2018
Historically, Russia attracted Asia-Europe cargo largely destined for Northern Europe. But now Russia wants another piece of the Asia-Europe transport pie.
Port of Itajai, Brazil.
31 Aug 2018
Decades of truck-oriented Brasilia administrations and a bias against rail created a vulnerable trade transport system. The spring truckers’ strike exposed it, and months later trade logistics has yet to recover.
CSX Transportation.
30 Aug 2018
CSX's steelwheel interchange alternation leaves the affected shippers with no easy, inexpensive substitutes.
BNSF.
28 Aug 2018
The proposed facility where containers from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will be transferred to intermodal trains would be a boon to beneficial cargo owners and freight transportation interests for several reasons. But there's also a not-insignificant environmental benefit.
Union Pacific Railroad.
27 Aug 2018
The capacity challenges described here are not unique to railroad networks and terminals; they are persistent through the US supply chain. Further, while some solutions lie far in the future, there are several initiatives that could improve rail/intermodal service overnight.
An intermodal train in the United States.
24 Aug 2018
US intermodal demand continues to increase at a substantial rate, and in response railroads are deploying more equipment, technology, and people. But will that response be able to meet cargo demands this peak season?
PSA International cranes at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.
24 Aug 2018
Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals, which has handled about 150,000 TEU as of August 2018, this month added nine, new rubber-tire gantry cranes, bringing the total cranes to 27, PSA India officials said.
Appalachian Regional Port.
22 Aug 2018
In the United States’ tight surface capacity market, the operative phrase in supply chain management is “minimize the truck transport variable,” and Georgia’s new inland port, the Appalachian Regional Port, aims to do that, and more.
Veracruz port, Mexico.
21 Aug 2018
Perhaps nowhere in the world, save India, is a critical mass of demand and resources coming together to produce a more-promising trade future than in Mexico. But to maintain that take-off status, Mexico will have to solve major infrastructure shortcomings, as well as address longstanding trade security issues.
Port Miami.
20 Aug 2018
Port Miami is making a statement. New cranes, a better truck gating system and transloading facilities, and access to Interstate 95 mean the port has the infrastructure for global trade. And Miami has one other tangible that many stakeholders in container shipping will notice. Certainly other ports will.
Terminal de Conteineres de Paranagua (TCP).
18 Aug 2018
Terminal de Conteineres de Paranaguá (TCP), also known as Paranaguá, is in an annual race with another port for the title of “global chicken export port king,” and its officials are not subtle regarding where they want to finish each year.
Port Miami.
17 Aug 2018
So far, the Port of Tampa and Port Miami are only seeing small cargo volumes, but shippers looking to cut travel time and costs for cargo sent across the US-Mexico border may increasingly choose the sea route, if the conventional land-based route’s delays don’t diminish.
A freight train travels in Canada.
16 Aug 2018
Western Canada has been “behind the curve” in developing inland ports compared with the US West Coast and South Atlantic regions. However, that will change with Ashcroft's expansion.
CSX Transportation.
15 Aug 2018
These are relatively minor changes in destination terminals and don’t eliminate any existing service, although it will require some decisions on how to route cargo for the best price.
The Port of Oakland.
15 Aug 2018
Looks can be deceptive. Terminal operators, a very visible component of container shipping, are often the first to be criticized by BCOs and truckers when there are delays in delivering cargo. However, they have no control over the various transport modes that bring cargo to them.
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust
15 Aug 2018
Officials concluded that instead of a sudden, sweeping policy change, the port will work toward reducing free times for all "export containers" handled via inland container depots (ICDs) to six days from seven days and, depending on the progress, a further reduction will be considered.
Trucks travel in Florida.
14 Aug 2018
Record US imports, combined with constraints on intermodal and already tight truckload capacity, point to one outcome for US spot market truck rates.
Freight cars at a railyard.
14 Aug 2018
There is a lot of potential volume out there for intermodal to tap, if it could only solve the interchange dilemma. Instead, the sector seems to be moving in the opposite direction.
Truck at loading dock in Illinois, United States.
13 Aug 2018
For those shippers and intermodal market companies trying to figure out how to handle cargo movement through Chicago on lanes in which interline service will be eliminated, the options are hardly ideal. But there are options.
Railroad yard.
09 Aug 2018
In an era in which considerable, new intermodal business is there, US railroads argue they need to balance the interests of investors and shippers. Shippers argue there hasn’t been a balance.
A chemical plant.
09 Aug 2018
US chemical producers knew a sector boom would create logistics challenges. But what they did not anticipate was other growing sectors putting extreme pressure on US trucking as well, with a huge spillover to intermodal rail.
Intermdoal rail.
08 Aug 2018
Containers were one of only five items among the original 284 items granted a reprieve by the US working group consisting of nearly a dozen federal agencies.
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.