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

23 Oct 2020
Union Pacific Railroad says service is now fluid on its intermodal network after the “bumpiness” experienced over the summer; intermodal marketing companies, however, dispute that.
21 Oct 2020
Union Pacific Railroad will raise the surcharge on small shippers to $1,000 on excess contract cargo beginning Oct. 25, a signal that rail-owned containers remain in short supply on the West Coast.
21 Oct 2020
Limited air cargo capacity and high ocean load factors are keeping demand elevated on the overland rail network between China and Europe.
19 Oct 2020
The rail agreement between Canadian Pacific and Maersk follows the mid-September announcement that the two companies will build and operate a transload and distribution facility at CP’s existing terminal in Vancouver.
16 Oct 2020
J.B. Hunt said intermodal results were worse than anticipated because of major network congestion in rail terminals and shippers sitting on containers, which may not ease until 2021.
16 Oct 2020
Two recent studies show how cheaper rail prices are helping drive port routing changes, and a new JOC analysis of data from the Intermodal Association of North America reveals how significant the shift has been in just five years.
15 Oct 2020
Agricultural shippers in North Dakota will have a new service to the ports of Seattle and Tacoma to export products overseas, which the state’s governor calls a game-changer.
12 Oct 2020
This year’s peak season promises to be tumultuous, but 2021 could be just as difficult for shippers as 2020.
23 Sep 2020
Domestic intermodal volumes already elevated compared with a year ago and there are signs that international intermodal is on the upswing too.
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.
15 Sep 2020
A deal to build and operate a transload and distribution facility in Vancouver advances CP’s efforts to deepen its presence at its sole western Canadian port gateway, and Maersk’s evolution into a so-called global integrator by expanding its reach beyond port-to-port shipping.
14 Sep 2020
BNSF has named Kathryn Farmer, who has been with the western railroad for 28 years, as its new CEO effective Jan. 1, 2021. She will become the first female CEO of a North American Class I railroad.
11 Sep 2020
The surge in domestic intermodal has spread from Los Angeles to Oakland-Lathrop and Union Pacific will raise surcharges on shippers to ensure equipment is available for core customers.
09 Sep 2020
Demand for rail services between China and Europe has risen sharply since COVID-19 slashed air and ocean capacity, with bottlenecks developing at key border crossings.
09 Sep 2020
When it comes to the Inland Point Intermodal market, it’s a 40-foot world; thus far in 2020, 40-foot containers comprise just over three out of every four IPI revenue moves.
01 Sep 2020
Third-party logistics provider Transplace looks to expand its shipper customer base through the acquisition of LeanCor, a supply-chain company focused on lean manufacturing.
28 Aug 2020
UP will raise surcharges again out of Los Angeles on all shippers, as previous rate increases have been ineffective in slowing volumes that threaten to overwhelm the railroad’s network.
27 Aug 2020
Shippers will have to plan their supply chains more carefully in Denver and Chicago because Union Pacific Railroad will no longer accept containers more than two days before their scheduled departure due to an onslaught of intermodal volume.
25 Aug 2020
Union Pacific Railroad will institute a $500 surcharge on excess cargo for all shippers in Seattle to divert as many assets to Los Angeles as possible amid record-breaking cargo spikes in Southern California.
20 Aug 2020
For the third time this month, Union Pacific has increased spot rates and its peak season surcharge in Los Angeles, raising prices on small shippers to record levels and likely pushing excess cargo back to trucking.
19 Aug 2020
Freight forwarders in the US Midwest and Eastern Canada fear the rail problems plaguing Vancouver could quickly result in excessive delays in delivering containers to the eastern half of the continent.
19 Aug 2020
Seeing the long-term decline in carload volumes tied to North American industrial activity, CN is trying to tie itself closer to supply chains feeding the retail and service industries.
18 Aug 2020
A federal regulatory change will safely expedite the training process and address the pressing national need for more chassis mechanics, according to the Intermodal Association of North America.
17 Aug 2020
NFI intermodal and its truck brokerage businesses will expand following logistics unit purchases from CAI International.
13 Aug 2020
The new $1,500 rate hike by UP is on top of a $500 increase announced earlier this month on California lanes, effectively raising intermodal spot rates above trucking pricing.
12 Aug 2020
Despite optimism that BNSF Railway’s congestion may ease, intermodal marketing companies expect demand to be high and equipment dislocations to persist through October in California.
07 Aug 2020
While Indian rail operators have a long way to go to sufficiently meet the bargains BCOs are seeking to permanently migrate away from their traditional mode of transport, those gaps seem to be narrowing.
06 Aug 2020
Intermodal volume, rates, and savings have been on a rollercoaster this year, surging this summer to levels higher than a year ago after steep declines this spring during the height of the pandemic.
06 Aug 2020
An important lesson to be gained is the role of TOFC as intermodal surge capacity: While there is a finite number of domestic containers in the North American fleet, there are, for all practical purposes, an infinite number of trailers available.
04 Aug 2020
In expanding the surcharge to all shippers, UP cited “a significant increase in demand for container capacity across the system” that is expected to “increase further in the coming weeks.”
29 Jul 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic, hopping from one hotspot to another, is scattering pieces of the supply chain capacity puzzle, leading to “dislocation,” J.B. Hunt’s Shelley Simpson says.
29 Jul 2020
Small shippers will have to pay a $500 surcharge on excess cargo on Union Pacific, as both western US Class I railroads struggle to handle the surge in volume out of Los Angeles.
29 Jul 2020
A containerized train carrying 50 TEU from India reached Bangladesh’s Benapole port on Sunday, opening a new avenue for trade between the two countries that will cut time and costs.
27 Jul 2020
The US Surface Transportation Board is reviewing a petition for unconditional approval of CN’s purchase of 230 miles of track, known as the Massena Lines in upstate New York, from CSX Transportation.
24 Jul 2020
Union Pacific Railroad blames volatile swings in volume for congestion in Los Angeles in June, but intermodal marketing companies say it remains difficult to find space on trains because of a surge in e-commerce business.
23 Jul 2020
After wild swings in intermodal volume in the second quarter, CSX Transportation and Union Pacific Railroad are cautiously optimistic about peak season volumes, while realizing pandemic disruptions are lurking.