Rail News

The Journal of Commerce’s analysis and coverage of North American and global rail news encompasses Class I railroad, intermodal marketing providers, and supporting drayage and truckload services. Reporting on freight railroad news today, journalists track volume, intermodal freight rates, service levels, precision schedule railroading, transloading, regulation, union labor and network investment at domestic and international intermodal terminals.

The latest Rail News & Analysis

New pact yields intermodal gains at India’s JNPT

Bency Mathew, Special India Correspondent |
Inland container depot movement by train has steadily gained traction over the past three months at India’s JNPT in the wake of a more collaborative rail arrangement sealed between the port and terminal stakeholders.
International rail

Cargo shift threatens Alameda Corridor with financial crisis: report

By JOC Staff |
Unless the Los Angeles-Long Beach ports attract more cargo, they could wind up stuck with a hefty bill for the intermodal corridor’s bond debt, a report says.
Intermodal providersNorth American ports

DHL launches 12-day China–Europe rail service

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor |
The rail freight transit times from China to Europe are shortening as forwarders adjust service routes to avoid bottlenecks at major train transfer hubs.
Rail News

JOC Research Note: Spot intermodal savings rising; contract tightening

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
As spot intermodal rates begin to save shippers more money than earlier in 2019, shippers are seeing reduced savings on contract business.
Intermodal providers

Cosco, Duisport develop new rail gateway to Europe

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor |
Europe’s largest inland port is about to become even bigger as it partners with an international consortium to develop a new terminal.
Rail News

Protests again disrupt rail service into Lázaro Cárdenas

Hugh R. Morley, Senior Editor |
The third blockage this year of the main rail line into the Mexican Port of Lázaro Cárdenas, which is operated by Kansas City Southern of Mexico (KCSM) will likely add to shipper fears that moving cargo by rail is unreliable.
International portsInternational rail

Top global transport providers grew in tumultuous 2018

Alan M. Field, Special Correspondent |
Forty-seven of the top 50 global transportation providers saw revenues rise in 2018, benefitting from a strong global economic growth and growing anticipation of reciprocal tariffs between the United States and China.
Logistics Technology NewsContainer linesRail NewsTrucking NewsAir Cargo

CSX, UP push efficiency despite sharp Q3 intermodal declines

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
CSX Transportation and Union Pacific Railroad reported weak intermodal volume for the third quarter, but insisted their networks are lean, efficient, and ready to fully capitalize when the market rebounds.
North-American rail

US railroads nudging shippers away from trailers

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
Two refrigerated intermodal carriers, Marten Transport and KLLM Transport, have acquired 53-foot containers as US Class I railroads have been disincentivizing intermodal trailer use.
Intermodal providers

US intermodal rail regains pricing edge against trucking

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
Despite weak intermodal volume in the third quarter, there is a glimmer of hope for rail shippers as a sequential bump in truckload spot rates have provided additional cost savings.
Intermodal providersNorth-American rail

STB urges cooperation on rail demurrage issues

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
The US Surface Transportation Board is urging railroads to work closely with shippers to address concerns about demurrage practices.
Transport, Trade, and Regulation NewsNorth-American rail

Q3 intermodal volumes disappoint again

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
Intermodal volumes did not recover in the third quarter, prompting questions of what railroads can do to win back shippers, other than waiting for a recovery in trucking.
Intermodal providers

DP World deepens India integrator push with multimodal hub

Bency Mathew, Special India Correspondent |
The Dubai-based global port terminal operator is looking to position an existing inland freight terminal in Hyderabad as a regional multimodal distribution hub as part of a larger effort to offer integrated logistics services in India.
Marine terminalsIntermodal providers

PSA Terminal lifts intermodal profile at India’s JNPT

Bency Mathew, Special India Correspondent |
Hyundai Merchant Marine has set up weekly block train operations from India’s Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals to a key northern India hinterland point; the service launched this week with a 90-TEU railcar.
International rail

Low-single-digit growth forecast for ocean, intermodal sectors

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
Freight volumes and rates in the US ocean, intermodal rail, and trucking sectors will see flat to low-single-digit percentage growth in the fourth quarter and into 2020 as retailers burn off inventories, according to speakers at IANA’s annual conference.
Intermodal providersMaritime

No easy fix for chassis conundrum: speakers

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor |
A conflict of interests among supply chain stakeholders involving how best to manage chassis usage at ports and rail hubs continues to harm productivity, with no immediate solution on the horizon.
Intermodal providers

Matson Logistics taps BlackBerry for intermodal visibility

JOC Staff |
BlackBerry Radar will provide a “near real-time” status reading for Matson Logistics’ entire fleet of domestic intermodal containers.
Rail News

Protest halting KCS trains to Lazaro Cardenas ends

Hugh R. Morley, Senior Editor |
Trains began running again into the Mexican Port of Lazaro Cardenas Thursday, two days after protestors halted train traffic at the port, raising anew concerns of reliability of the country’s railroad system in moving freight.
International rail

China-Europe rail rates falling as volumes rise

Keith Wallis, Special Correspondent |
Growth in container volumes and efficiency enhancements at key border crossings should contribute to a strong, but relatively smooth peak season for rail service between China and Europe.
International rail

US intermodal poised for a rebound?

Theodore Prince, chief operating officer and co-founder, Tiger Cool Express |
The US intermodal industry is currently in the midst of a down cycle after volumes and rates surged in late 2017 and early 2018, but there are opportunities for railroads to accelerate the potential rebound if they are able to take advantage.
Intermodal providersLTLNorth-American rail

NY-NJ promotes block stowage to aid port rail flow

Hugh R. Morley, Senior Editor |
As part of the Port of New York and New Jersey’s effort to increase rail cargo efficiency, terminals are encouraging ocean carriers to place containers headed for a similar destination in one part of the vessel so they can be removed from the ship faster.
North American portsRail News

Amazon acquires branded intermodal containers

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
The Journal of Commerce has learned Amazon has acquired 53-foot containers, signaling an intention to tender intermodal volume directly to Class I railroads without an intermediary and marketing itself as an end-to-end supply chain solution for small retailers.
Intermodal providers

Performance crimps Mexico intermodal growth

Larry Gross, president and founder, Gross Transportation Consulting |
The intermodal sector in Mexico has room to grow, but that means overcoming several challenges.
Rail News

CN, Evergreen extend Canada contract

JOC Staff |
Canadian National provides Evergreen has provided intermodal rail service to customers of Evergreen, the seventh-largest container line, for the last 27 years, with services connecting to the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, and Halifax.
Rail News

Cosco, CN extend intermodal pact

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
The partnership between Canadian National Railway and Cosco was instrumental in propelling Prince Rupert from a bulk port to a major Asian gateway for US and Canadian cargo owners and forwarders.
Intermodal providers

UP nixes plan to fine trucks for missed appointments

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
Union Pacific Railroad has dropped its plan to levy fines against trucking companies for canceling or missing ingate reservations to enter intermodal ramps in California, Oregon, and Washington.
North-American rail

AMLO pushes cross-Mexico rail bridge

Hugh R. Morley, Senior Editor |
The president of Mexico said work is continuing on a project to create a modern, efficient freight-moving operation by rail across the narrowest stretch of Mexico, which links ports on the Pacific and Gulf coasts.
International portsInternational rail

UP-CSX weigh reversal of service cuts: sources

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
Union Pacific Railroad and CSX Transportation, struggling to recover volume after service cuts, are reaching out to shippers and logistics providers about reinstating direct service to Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Columbus, Ohio, sources tell JOC.com
North-American rail

JOC VIDEO: Solving the chassis puzzle

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
JOC Associate Editor Ari Ashe explains why chassis shortages are such a problem in the international transportation space and why finding a solution is so difficult.
DrayageRail News

US domestic intermodal weakest since Great Recession

Larry Gross, president and founder, Gross Transportation Consulting |
Intermodal’s grim first-half performance will improve as the fall peak arrives, but likely not enough to offset the losses experienced to date.
Rail News

New CN-CSX service links NE US and Canada

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
Canadian National Railway and CSX Transportation will launch a new international intermodal service linking Montreal and Toronto to New York.
North-American rail

DHL risk unit: Plan for low river levels in Europe

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor |
Companies should have contingency plans in place for their inland European supply chains as low water levels on the rivers are posing a very real threat.
Rail News

JOC Research Note: US intermodal savings lowest in five years

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
In its inaugural US Domestic Intermodal Savings Index, JOC finds that intermodal rates are closer to trucking rates than at any time since 2014, so shippers should closely examine their modal choices.
Intermodal providers

Maersk ocean-rail service adds new wrinkle to Asia-Europe

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor |
Maersk’s new ocean-rail service from Asia to Northern Europe is offering competitive transit times against more established all-rail routes.
Rail News

TransX helps CN win domestic intermodal business

Mark Szakonyi, JOC Executive Editor |
Canadian National Railway said its enhanced competency to handle less-than-truckload volumes allowed it to provide a more sophisticated suite of services to Hudson’s Bay.
North-American rail

Norfolk Southern bullish on second half intermodal

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
Norfolk Southern Railway believes the intermodal market has hit bottom and expects shippers to move more containers in the second half of 2019.
North-American rail

Baltimore gets grant for tunnel project, but shortfall remains

Hugh R. Morley, Senior Editor |
Maryland and the Port of Baltimore will have to find $103 million in funds for the $466 million Howard Street Tunnel project after the federal government awarded only $125 million, just over half of the $228 million requested.
North American portsNorth-American rail

First equipment interchange to ease Mexico intermodal flow

Hugh R. Morley, Senior Editor |
Truckers in Mexico will soon be able to sign a single agreement that will set out common rules for equipment exchange with all signatory providers, creating a simpler, more reliable process.
North-American rail

US-Mexico shippers turn to intermodal amid truck delays

Hugh R. Morley, Senior Editor |
Kansas City Southern’s cross-border intermodal rail volumes increased in the second quarter amid truck delays, but the railroad’s intermodal business as a whole struggled to compete with a lower-priced trucking sector.
International rail

CSX says lower truck rates hurting intermodal

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor |
CSX Transportation lowered its guidance for 2019 after offering a grimmer view of the freight market than J.B. Hunt had a day earlier, warning investors that the second half of the year could be worse than the first.
North-American rail