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

25 Jun 2020
Spot rates have jumped more than 40 percent in the last four weeks for shippers using rail-owned boxes out of Los Angeles due to an equipment shortage in Southern California unseen since 2018.
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.”
07 Feb 2020
Just-in-time inventory pressures are creating more less-than-truckload shipments, giving Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railway an opportunity to accelerate their domestic intermodal volume growth.
07 Feb 2020
Sponsored: CenterPoint Properties' Matt Mullarkey on Chicago as an inland distribution hub, congestion challenges, sustainability in real estate, and the continued evolution of the e-commerce impact.
06 Feb 2020
There are no positives to be found in the Intermodal Association of North America’s latest market report, which shows year-over-year volume fell 7.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 and 4.1 percent for the full year, with declines in all types of containers.
05 Feb 2020
Amid weak intermodal volumes in 2019, the JOC Domestic Intermodal Savings Index shows spot and contract savings are lower than historical averages, although the year closed stronger for shipper savings on the spot market.
04 Feb 2020
A rush to secure space on trains leaving China could be looming amid coronavirus-related disruptions to air and ocean schedules. Shippers have been advised to plan capacity early.
31 Jan 2020
JOC Inland Distribution Conference Panelist Kristy Knichel discusses 2020 customer budget concerns, opportunities, and the ups and downs of precision scheduled railroading.
29 Jan 2020
Railroads and intermodal providers say there will be more volume in 2020 than last year, although shipper demand will not fully recover until the second half of this year.
UP to resume service on nearly 60 lanes it cut in 2018
28 Jan 2020
Union Pacific Railroad will resume service on nearly 60 previously eliminated lanes beginning Feb. 1, a move it linked to its precision scheduled railroading operation, but others said was designed to win back lost market share.
27 Jan 2020
Despite stiff truck competition, East Coast ports have taken aggressive steps to capture more intermodal cargo and spend significant capital to build out rail infrastructure.
CN taking more hands-on approach to create ‘Prince Rupert’ of the east
24 Jan 2020
CN’s new approach to developing the ports of Halifax and Quebec comes after its limited success in growing intermodal volumes out of the Port of Montreal.
21 Jan 2020
The migration of North American import cargo from west to east has been accelerating, a trend that could have negative implications for Inland Point Intermodal (IPI).
New services, auto growth to drive Mexican intermodal gains in 2020
17 Jan 2020
Despite Mexico’s sluggish economy, the intermodal sector could see benefits in 2020 from the expected implementation of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement and new rail services.
17 Jan 2020
Dedicated contract carriage, final-mile service, and a digital marketplace helped carry J.B. Hunt through a tough fourth-quarter intermodal and trucking market.
16 Jan 2020
Touting it as a game-changing move, Indian Railways has opened consultations with stakeholders to introduce double-stack “dwarf container” train operations at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in a bid to better compete with over-the-road haulers.
10 Jan 2020
The intermodal picture at the start of 2020 is lackluster because the trucking market isn’t on the verge of a major rebound unless there is an economic catalyst.
10 Jan 2020
"While spot rates are down compared to last year.. we are creating a new norm." Lee Klaskow, senior analyst of transportation and logistics for Bloomberg Intelligence, discusses challenges for 2020 and provides a recap of his freight outlook panel discussion at the JOC Inland Distribution Conference in late 2019.
07 Jan 2020
The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement may speed the processing of goods at US borders, but won’t necessarily speed transportation at the congested Mexican border, experts warn. That will require further investment in infrastructure and technology.
03 Jan 2020
The country's government is looking to improve cargo fluidity at key seaports and border crossings — and reduce traffic on congested roads — via increased use of intermodal rail and a new marine highway program.
02 Jan 2020
Union Pacific Railroad has been suffering technical issues with its gates at Chicago’s Global 4 terminal, causing major congestion and delays in cargo deliveries.
02 Jan 2020
After an unprecedented volume decline in 2019, continued excess trucking capacity, further transitioning to precisions scheduled railroading, and slowing economic growth portends another difficult year for the US intermodal market.
31 Dec 2019
US intermodal, particularly domestic volume, has a tough road ahead given low spot truckload rates that will continue to push freight to the highway, but the sector could see some improvement in the second half.
30 Dec 2019
As volumes on the China–Europe rail route continue to grow, stakeholders are looking at ways to make the network more efficient, as well as potential reforms to the system of subsidies that fund operations.
30 Dec 2019
Chronic cross-border trucking delays serve as a reminder of how fragile the freight connection between the United States and its largest trading partner continues to be.
30 Dec 2019
Going into 2020, chassis providers in the US are hopeful that fleet upgrades over the last two years have made the network more resilient, while also acknowledging that there is still little they can do to absorb sudden, unanticipated spikes in cargo.
23 Dec 2019
With economic growth expected to slow and relations between the United States and its largest trading partners still in flux, cargo owners are expecting low but sustained demand and increased pricing pressure in the coming year.
20 Dec 2019
Senior Trucking Editor Bill Cassidy provides highlights from the 2019 JOC Inland Transportation conference in Chicago, discussing technology, customer demand, and the keynote speech by J.B. Hunt's Shelley Simpson.
20 Dec 2019
The JOC.com editorial team has identified 10 trends every shipper, carrier, and third-party logistics provider should be watching in the upcoming year.
17 Dec 2019
Traffic problems that slowed trucks in BNSF’s Lot 16 outside of Chicago have been resolved through a partnership between the railroad and an Intermodal Cartage-owned yard operator.
J.B. Hunt, JDA latest to join broker-TMS integration trend
09 Dec 2019
Brokers with digital freight marketplaces continue to partner with widely used TMS providers to give users of those systems direct access to electronic capacity and booking capabilities, while the marketplaces get an influx of direct shippers customers.
06 Dec 2019
IHS Markit points to a “modest upturn” in the US economy, with consumer demand keeping freight in motion.