Intermodal volumes up 5.6 percent in 2018

Volumes tapered off in the fourth quarter, growing 4.2 percent year-over-year.

Intermodal volumes up 5.6 percent in 2018

Volumes tapered off in the fourth quarter, growing 4.2 percent year-over-year.

Intermodal volumes up 5.6 percent in 2018

Volumes tapered off in the fourth quarter, growing 4.2 percent year-over-year.

 
Intermodal freight volumes in North America for the fourth quarter of 2018 totaled nearly 4.8 million units, 4.2 percent more than in the same 2017 period, according to the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).
    Movements of international (ISO) containers such as the 20-foot and 40-foot containers that move on containerships were up 5.5 percent to about 2.4 million; domestic containers, generally 53 feet long and wider than ISO containers, grew by 3.4 percent to 2 million; while trailer loads fell 0.1 percent to 372,185.
    For the full year 2018, 18.9 million intermodal units moved, a 5.6 percent increase over 2017. Movement of ISO boxes was up 5.4 percent to about 9.6 million; domestic containers grew by 4.9 percent to 7.9 million; and trailer loads were up 10.6 percent 1.45 million.
    IANA said the seven highest-density trade corridors that account for 62.6 percent of total intermodal volume and that volumes along those lanes were up collectively 5.1 percent in the fourth quarter over the same period a year earlier. Growth in the fourth quarter amounted to:
    • 13.1 percent in Midwest-Northwest corridor,
   • 9.7 in the South Central-Southwest corridor,
    • 9.4 percent in the intra-Southeast corridor,
    • 7 percent in the Southeast-Southwest corridor,
    • 5.7 percent in the Northeast-Midwest corridor,
    • 1 percent in the Southwest-Midwest corridor,
   • 0.9 percent in the Trans-Canada corridor.
    Roughly two-thirds of the domestic container fleet is owned by companies such as J.B. Hunt, Schneider National, Swift Transportation, Hub Group and UPS, while about a third is owned by railroads and marketed by intermodal marketing companies (IMCs), said Larry Gross, the president of Gross Transportation Consulting and a leading analyst of the intermodal industry.
    IANA noted that following growth in the first three quarters of 2018, IMC volumes fell in the fourth quarter for the first time since the first quarter of 2017.
    Gross said this indicates that the extreme shortage of trucks experienced earlier last year is waning.
    Mandated use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) that track the number of hours drivers work resulted in tighter trucking capacity in 2018, he noted, but recently “conditions are returning to a more normal state.”
    Last year was “all about capacity” in the intermodal industry, he said. “If you had capacity available then you could easily fill it” and growth by intermodal companies was limited by railroad service issues that reduced equipment velocity.
    Trucking companies have hired more drivers and he believes this year will see intermodal companies and trucking companies competing more on the basis of service and cost, not just the availability of capacity.
    Strong growth in the Northwest-Midwest corridor reflects increased intermodal traffic between the ports of Seattle and Tacoma and the Midwest, he said.
    In the Southeast, ports are moving more cargo by rail and have opened new inland ports, for example those opened last year by Georgia Ports Authority in Chatsworth, near the Tennessee border and the South Carolina Ports Authority in Dillon, S.C.

The president has done his job. It’s time for the Congress to do their job and pass the USMCA this summer.

BlueWater Reporting’s database shows 57 container services operate on the Asia to North America (U.S. and Canada) trade, with the OCEAN Alliance operating 19 services, THE Alliance operating 14 services, and the 2M Alliance operating 10 services (two of which are jointly operated with ZIM).

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Intermodal volumes up 5.6 percent in 2018

Volumes tapered off in the fourth quarter, growing 4.2 percent year-over-year.

Feb 04, 2019 on Dec 27, 2018AmericanShipper.com

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Intermodal volumes up 5.6 percent in 2018

Volumes tapered off in the fourth quarter, growing 4.2 percent year-over-year.

Feb 04, 2019 on Dec 27, 2018AmericanShipper.com