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

15 Oct 2021
A flood of imports into the Pacific Northwest is boosting spot truckload rates out of Seattle as shippers facing delays and intermodal container shortages seek new routes for freight moving inland.
03 Feb 2014
State-owned rail operator Container Corp. of India reported its net profit in the third fiscal quarter, which ended Dec. 31, 2013, was $40 million, rising 5.4 percent year-over-year from $38 million.
03 Feb 2014
WASHINGTON — The types of questions posed by Surface Transportation Board commissioners to railroads and shippers in late March could give some indication on how the trio, particularly its newest addition, views a controversial competitive switching proposal.
31 Jan 2014
CALGARY, Alberta — Canadian National Railway’s $220 million investment in its Calgary area logistics park, which opened a year ago, is a case study in how intermodal is paying off for Canada’s largest railroad.
Train at Port of Long Beach
31 Jan 2014
The transloading of imported cargo from marine containers to domestic containers in Southern California increased sharply in 2013, but new data suggests transloading has hit a plateau and future growth will be incremental.
30 Jan 2014
Canadian Pacific Railway CEO and Director E. Hunter Harrison doesn’t think the Class I industry will go another five to six year without some consolidation.
CP locomotive with intermodal train
30 Jan 2014
Canadian Pacific Railway is targeting domestic intermodal as one of the two biggest drivers of growth for the company in the coming years. The railroad said it has already gained market share though new services.
29 Jan 2014
Hub Group reported net income in the fourth quarter of 2013 was $16.5 million, down 12 percent from $18.8 million in the same period in 2012, ending the year in a slump after three quarters of growth.
KCS train
29 Jan 2014
Kansas City Southern Railway expects to see a surge of business from three new Mexican auto plants later than previously anticipated, as the Nissan, Honda and Audi plants are slated to produce only half their full capacity this year.
29 Jan 2014
President Obama touched on trade, transportation infrastructure, water resources, natural gas fueling networks and trucks in his State of the Union address, pledging to use executive orders to advance his agenda where possible.
Top 36 lane index, week of Jan. 27, 2014. Source: IDS Transportation Services, LLC
29 Jan 2014
An index of 36 major U.S. intermodal lanes fell $93 from the prior week to $2,014 in the week of Jan. 27, according to data on all-inclusive 53-foot door-to-door spot pricing quoted by railroads and provided by the 3PL IDS. This drop eroded the $88 combined increase from the past two weeks. The current rate is down 2.8 percent from the rate one year ago, when it stood at $2,072.
CSX and Norfolk Southern intermodal trains
24 Jan 2014
Archrivals CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway will further their different approaches to attract truck loads to the rails this year, but it’s too soon to say which eastern railroad will dominate one of the fastest growing North American intermodal markets.
Kansas City Southern trains
24 Jan 2014
Kansas City Southern today reported record revenue of $616 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, up 8 percent year-over-year...
Union Pacific train
23 Jan 2014
Union Pacific reported record net income of $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, up 13 percent year-over-year, which helped fuel a best-ever full year profit of $4.4 billion...
Norfolk Southern train
22 Jan 2014
Norfolk Southern today reported record fourth quarter net income of $513 million, jumping 24 percent year-over-year from $413 million....
From left: Bjorn Vang Jensen, Mark D. Schweitzer, Richard Smith
21 Jan 2014
Three shippers discuss what they expect in 2014.
17 Jan 2014
Positive train control, improved mass rail transit safety and eliminating driver distration were among the ten top transportation safety improvements the National Transportation Safety Board wants to see advance in 2014.
17 Jan 2014
The U.S. energy boom has helped the nation reduce its trade deficit and could pave the way for even more natural gas exports. But the energy bonanza comes at a cost. Rocketing natural gas and oil production appears to be hampering the shipment of one of the U.S.’s top export: agriculture products.
Railroad track in winter
17 Jan 2014
The polar vortex didn’t put the U.S. into a deep freeze for long but the widespread chill is still causing transportation problems for shippers, railroads and drayage truckers. Those problems may be contributing to stronger-than-usual business for over-the-road truckers.
CSX intermodal hub in North Baltimore, Ohio.
16 Jan 2014
CSX Transportation told investors Thursday that it plans to expand its intermodal hub in northwest Ohio, after the railroad's intermodal traffic jumped 11 percent in the fourth quarter.
CSX train
16 Jan 2014
CSX today reported fourth quarter net income of $426 million, falling 5 percent from $449 million in the same period last year...
12 Jan 2014
At a recent supply chain conference, Bradley S. Jacobs heard a “financially compelling” case for investing and doing business in his country from former Mexican President Felipe Calderón. “Mexico is positioning to chip into China’s status as one of our major trading partners,” said the chairman and CEO of XPO Logistics.
10 Jan 2014
Agricultural shippers in the U.S. Midwest are facing rail delays of a day to three days because of the sizable harvest, snow and record-breaking freezing temperatures, said the executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition.
Double-stack train
10 Jan 2014
The North American intermodal market this year will likely be downright predictable compared to the volatility facing other transportation modes, particularly ocean shipping and air cargo. That’s less-than-thrilling news for investors, but a dose of much-needed certainty for shippers tired of wild rate fluctuations and sporadic service from other modes.
08 Jan 2014
China is reportedly allowing more U.S. dried distiller grains into the country after rejecting roughly 661 short tons of corn-based DDGS and 2,205 short tones of regular corn, both containing an unapproved genetically-modified strain.
Year-over-year changes in U.S. directional indices, week of Jan. 6, 2014. Source: IDS Transportation Services, LLC
08 Jan 2014
An index of 36 major U.S. intermodal lanes edged down $11 from the prior week to $2,019 in the week of Jan. 6, according to data on all-inclusive 53-foot door-to-door spot pricing quoted by railroads and provided by the 3PL IDS.
06 Jan 2014
Union Pacific Railroad recently began intermodal service between Laredo, Texas and Memphis, Tenn., providing shippers with better access to Mexico’s booming automotive and consumer goods manufacturing industries.
Pacer StackTrain
06 Jan 2014
More midsize and smaller shippers will have access to intermodal rail following the acquisition of Pacer International by XPO Logistics, a move that will push truck freight brokerage toward a more multimodal model.
Pacer StackTrain
06 Jan 2014
XPO Logistics will buy intermodal giant Pacer International for approximately $335 million, expanding its reach into new freight markets.
03 Jan 2014
Canadian Pacific Railway will sell the western end of its Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern line to Genesee & Wyoming for $210 million, the latest effort by the former to boost profitability by cutting non-core assets.
GMO lettered on ear of corn
02 Jan 2014
China isn’t expected to approve a genetically modified strain found in corn and corn-based dried distillers grains with solubles until late spring, forcing some U.S. exporters to seek new markets or hold off on shipments, an agriculture analyst said today.
Cornfield with storm looming
27 Dec 2013
U.S. corn exporters are bracing for a potential slowdown in shipments to their top foreign customer after Chinese authorities reportedly rejected imports of corn and corn-based dried distillers grains with solubles, citing the presence of an unapproved genetically modified strain.
Majestic Maersk in Copenhagen
27 Dec 2013
What follows are our picks for the top 10 stories of 2013. Do you agree? Disagree?
20 Dec 2013
Improving transit times and favorable rates give air and ocean shippers another option China-to-Europe transportation options for automotive and high-value electronics shippers are much like that famous fairly tale about a blond-headed upstart and three bears. Ocean shipping is and was the slowest and cheapest mode, with a transit time of about 30 days but at roughly a tenth the price of air cargo delivery. And air cargo offers much faster delivery, but the expediency comes with far steeper prices that many supply chain managers would like to shake.
18 Dec 2013
WASHINGTON — What’s said at a Surface Transportation Board hearing on reciprocal switching early next year will likely set the stage for the next fight between railroads and some shippers over what the former sees as re-regulation and the latter views as enhanced competition.
Chinese railroad locomotive
18 Dec 2013
China over the last decade has become the world-beater in infrastructure investment, spending hundreds of billions of dollars on highways, seaports, high-speed railways and airports. Chinese investment in the movement of containers via rail, though, has been a slow train coming.