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 National Railways also operate in the United States.  

Commentary

News & Analysis

21 Jan 2019
Bangladesh shippers have nearly tapped out containerized rail capacity on the Chittagong-Dhaka route.
Union Pacific Railroad.
18 Sep 2018
Precision railroading’s supporters argue that by running longer trains and eliminating waste, shippers will receive a higher level of service. Critics argue it prioritizes shareholders over service.
Hurricane Florence.
13 Sep 2018
The hurricane headed for the Carolinas as of Thursday, with the ports of Savannah and Virginia having reduced exposure.
12 Sep 2018
Revenue from 53-foot trailer-on-flat-car (TOFC) moves in the North America is up in a big way this year, so far, through August. But is 53-foot TOFC revenue an accurate leading indicator of overall domestic intermodal demand?
A train in Bangldesh.
11 Sep 2018
The two projects will improve rail transport across Bangladesh, a more-direct route, with time and tariff savings likely for shippers.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, United States.
10 Sep 2018
Whether shippers moving goods through the US Southeast and Mid-Atlantic see delays and elevated truck rates for days or for weeks largely hinges on exactly where Hurricane Florence makes landfall and with how big of a wallop.
Containers at a port.
10 Sep 2018
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust handles the majority of India’s container trade and, hence, the government is keen on achieving speedier freight movement to/from through terminals there.
Appalachian Regional Port.
07 Sep 2018
An axiom argues, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and there’s no better example of that than what tight North American truck capacity has prompted.
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.