Domestic container volume rose 9 percent, year over year, during the second quarter, and total intermodal traffic inched up by 2.4 percent, according to the Intermodal Association of North America.
Containers finished the period at just under 1.52 million, compared to just more than 1.39 million during last year’s second quarter. Total intermodal finished the period at 3.86 million units.
Intermodal volume fell by 1.3 percent in the second quarter after a 3-percent gain during the first quarter. Weak shipments in June were the culprit, according to IANA; loads fell by 6 percent during the month. Officials don’t know yet if this 6-percent figure is an anomaly or a start of a trend.
While officials were expecting a bigger decrease in trailer volumes, IANA only recorded a 2.5-percent decline during the period — less than half of what it was predicting. Trailer volumes finished the second quarter at 397,249 units.
“Domestic container volume was the foundation of intermodal growth in both the second quarter and year to date,” Joni Casey, president and chief executive officer of IANA, said in a statement. “Despite some segments slowing in Q2, the market trends and statistics data confirm the industry’s underlying momentum.”
Regionally, the Southeast was by far the busiest intermodal area during the second quarter, with intermodal ticking up by 8.1 percent when compared to the same period in 2012. International intermodal grew by 6.7 percent while the national average fell by 1.3 percent. Shipments that remained inside the southeast rose 11.1 percent, beating the national average.
Total traffic in the Southeast grew by 8.1 percent, prodded along by a 12.4 percent rise in domestic container volume. - Jon Ross