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

12 Aug 2022
Domestic intermodal has not yet been able to demonstrate the ability to fully recover from the share lost during the post-pandemic surge, although private owners of domestic containers are hoping to change that.
09 Aug 2022
Union Pacific Railroad will issue a partial rebate on intermodal loads in Northern California to help defray the cost of moving boxes between Lathrop to Oakland starting next month.
08 Aug 2022
Knight-Swift's CEO acknowledged some shippers did not stick with Swift Intermodal after the switch to UP because their networks were better aligned with former rail partner BNSF.
05 Aug 2022
The main rail option from China for European importers is via the so-called “middle corridor,” but as demand steadily increases, so too are the many chokepoints along the route.
05 Aug 2022
Falling water levels on the Rhine are a seasonal problem, but this summer a European heatwave and low rainfall has left parts of the river virtually impassable.
05 Aug 2022
The Port of New York and New Jersey saw a decline in rail volumes in the first half of 2022 as intermittent container embargoes at railroads and low trucking rates pushed shippers off the rails.
04 Aug 2022
Intermodal discounts declined in the second quarter both sequentially and year over year as shippers were able to negotiate lower spot and contract truckload rates with motor carriers.
03 Aug 2022
Rail terminals are congested for the second consecutive year in Kansas City, causing truckers and importers to lash out at BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad.
03 Aug 2022
The steep reduction in rail services to Los Angeles-Long Beach is having a knock-on impact at the terminal gates, with the average truck turn time increasing by four minutes in July.
28 Jul 2022
BNSF has partnered with the Northwest Seaport Alliance to open a new intermodal rail yard near the Port of Tacoma that will serve cargo destined for US Midwest markets.
25 Jul 2022
BNSF and UP are metering containers from Southern California to avoid another intermodal meltdown like last summer, but the move is causing some import boxes to sit for six weeks or longer.
20 Jul 2022
J.B. Hunt is in talks with primary rail partners BNSF Railway and Norfolk Southern Railway on how they can improve service in the second half of the year.
18 Jul 2022
Retailers are beginning to pare back bloated inventories, but manufacturers are adding stock as they search for the elusive ‘golden screw.’
15 Jul 2022
The Presidential Emergency Board, which consists of arbitrators and negotiators familiar with the issues being contested, has 30 days to issue a nonbinding recommendation to the two sides.
15 Jul 2022
Union Pacific is temporarily shifting some domestic intermodal traffic from Lathrop to Oakland, a move that may present opportunities for BNSF and the truckload sector to capture market share on routes to the Gulf Coast and Southeast.
13 Jul 2022
The new White House port envoy says because private sector transportation providers and cargo interests operate independently, the US supply chain is fragmented and a bottleneck that surfaces in one sector spreads quickly to others.
13 Jul 2022
President Joe Biden will most likely get the federal government involved in US railway labor talks this week if he hopes to avoid a nationwide strike that would further disrupt the country’s supply chains.
12 Jul 2022
US warehouse woes are now showing in lower train speeds and on-time performance among Class I railroads, as stakeholders turn up the heat on retailers for not retrieving their cargo fast enough from depots and terminals.
11 Jul 2022
Like a candle in an otherwise dark room, new reporting requirements from the US Surface Transportation Board are illuminating at least one the factors that has inhibited the growth of US intermodal rail volumes, writes intermodal analyst Lawrence Gross.
06 Jul 2022
Peak season import volumes amid ongoing supply chain woes are raising the stakes if labor unions and US Class I railroads can’t return to the bargaining table without disruption.
30 Jun 2022
Union Pacific Railroad will temporarily re-align its domestic intermodal network in Northern California to accommodate a construction project meant to expand container capacity in the region ahead of Schneider National bringing more volume in 2023.
30 Jun 2022
Elevated demand for rail cargo on the only viable China-Europe rail route continues to overwhelm the existing infrastructure, with congestion building at Central Asian intermodal points.
28 Jun 2022
Despite an almost 10 percent drop in the Port of Halifax’s first quarter volumes, Canadian National Railway has added a second daily train service in anticipation of a cargo rebound.
27 Jun 2022
With bottlenecks at inland rail hubs in Toronto and Montreal building and rail container backups likewise mounting in Vancouver and Prince Rupert, Canada’s West Coast ports could experience congestion problems for some time.
27 Jun 2022
BNSF Railway is stacking ocean containers outside Dallas as cargo owners struggle to unload inventory in a timely manner and chassis providers scramble to reposition equipment sent to Houston earlier this year.
23 Jun 2022
Three FMC members ask the STB not to approve the proposed merger of Canadian Pacific Railway and Kansas City Southern, saying the deal would result in the loss of cargo to Canadian ports.
22 Jun 2022
Despite softening spot rates in some modes, overall supply chain costs are rising, with higher interest rates putting more pressure on inventories, according to the CSCMP State of Logistics report.
21 Jun 2022
A new Norfolk Southern incentive program for ocean carriers in New York-New Jersey and Virginia should help grow volume while encouraging a balanced flow of rail cars between inland terminals and the two ports.
15 Jun 2022
Some US intermodal shippers are forgoing trains to put their spot freight on trucks because the cost savings associated with rail have narrowed significantly since January.
14 Jun 2022
Recent IPI activity shows that despite the focus shifting to railroads ahead of the next West Coast bottleneck, the decisions made by ocean carriers are the root cause of the problem, writes JOC analyst Larry Gross.
09 Jun 2022
A chassis shortage is forcing Norfolk Southern Railway to meter international intermodal loads through five inland markets as the railroad moves to keep its network fluid.
07 Jun 2022
Canada’s Class I railroads have been dealing with a surge of freight from Vancouver that has taxed a shrinking pool of available truckers across the country in Ontario.
07 Jun 2022
The chassis shortage is affecting Norfolk Southern despite a 5.1 percent decline in volumes handled by the railroad between January and May compared with the same period in 2021.
02 Jun 2022
The US Department of Transportation awarded Georgia $6 million to improve tracks that connect Savannah with the state’s first inland port.
02 Jun 2022
Union Pacific Railroad and Schneider National have engaged intermodal shippers in recent weeks to discuss their new partnership and attempt to dispel any concerns about service disruptions during the transition from BNSF.
01 Jun 2022
The Port of Baltimore will receive almost $16 million in additional federal funds that will complete on-dock rail improvements needed as part of the project to raise the Howard Street Tunnel for double-stack service.