IANA reports strong third quarter 2010 intermodal volumes

Domestic volumes hit an all-time high despite container shortage

By ·

While various freight trends have seen numerous stops and starts in 2010, intermodal transportation is not one of them, according to the results of the third quarter Market Trends report from the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).

In the third quarter, IANA stated that third quarter intermodal loadings—at 2,995,043—were up 20.3 percent year-over-year. This was ahead of the second quarter’s 2,829,971 and behind the first quarter’s 3,019,310.

Along with a 20.3 percent annual gain in total intermodal loadings, IANA said that the four major intermodal categories it tracks were also showed gains. Domestic containers—at 1,162,460—were up 13 percent. International containers—at 2,011,775—were up 28.1 percent (marking the second time since the second half of 2006 that international topped domestic containers. All domestic equipment—at 1,591, 227—was up 11.7 percent, and trailers—at 428,767—were up 8.5 percent (trailers have been down 19 of the last 23 quarters).

“Intermodal activity, particularly from the international-driven side, is somewhat of a leading indicator as to what the expectations are for the economy,” said Tom Malloy, IANA Vice President of Member Services, in an interview. “A driver for intermodal’s continued momentum is the optimism—and confidence—by supply chain managers in bringing materials in from overseas.”

The Market Trends report supports this view, noting that the resurgence of international intermodal is primarily due to stronger container import volumes. But even with international container volumes up nearly 30 percent in the third quarter, IANA said they are still well below peak levels from the third quarter of 2006 as seasonally-adjusted third quarter international volumes are 11.7 percent below peak levels.

Domestic volumes for the third quarter, according to IANA, hit an all-time in the third quarter, with the report stating that domestic container shipments continuing to outpace the overall economic recovery in conjunction with intermodal shipments gaining share over other modes of freight transportation.

“Domestic activity is off the charts right now, especially for domestic containers of North American origin and termination, and are up over previous high points from 2008 and 2006,” said Malloy. “This is a good story. Had there been more containers [available] there likely would have been increased domestic container activity. This means equipment managers are doing a much better job of managing load-to-load churn, which is key for the companies that own them, the manager that runs them in order to maximize revenue opportunities for these pieces of equipment on an annual basis.”

IMC Performance: Intermodal Marketing Companies largely saw percentage gains on an annual basis in the third quarter, with intermodal loads—at 286,035—up 12.3 percent, and total loads, including highway which was down 7.9 percent at 144,284, up 4.6 percent at 430,859.

IMC intermodal and highway revenue—at $669,111,766 and $194,770, 436—were up 13.8 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively. Total revenue—at $843,083,202—was up 9.0 percent. Average revenue per intermodal load—at $2,339—was up 1.3 percent, and average revenue per highway load—at $1,345—was up 14.1 percent.


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Image-based Scanning for Inbound & Outbound Logistics
In an era where making the "business case" for technology investments isn’t always easy, image-based barcode scanning stands on its own when it comes to ROI.
Download Today!
From the January 2017 Issue
Following LM tradition, we start off the New Year with our annual “Rate Outlook” cover story and subsequent Webcast
Moore on Pricing: The other TMS functional options
2017 Rate Outlook: Where are freight transportation rates headed?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2017 Rate Outlook: Where are freight transportation rates headed?
Join our panel of top oil and transportation analysts for an exclusive look at where rates are headed and the issues driving those rate increases over the coming year.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...

Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...
Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....