Rail & Intermodal

Comprehensive coverage of rail freight/intermodal transportation management including logistics, shippers, carriers, shipping rates, tariffs, costs and rail loads and volumes.

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All Rail & Intermodal News
By Jeff Berman · July 16, 2015
For the month of June, the state of truckload and intermodal freight rates was again mixed, according to the most recent edition of the Truckload and Intermodal Cost Indexes from Cass Information Systems and Avondale Partners.
By Patrick Burnson · July 15, 2015
In a development certain to resonate with logistics managers, the Federal Maritime Commission has just released a report entitled U.S. Container Port Congestion & Related International Supply Chain Issues: Causes, Consequences & Challenges.
By Jeff Berman · July 2, 2015
AAR reported that June intermodal volume–at 1,117,149 containers and trailers–was up 3.7 percent, or 39,797 units, annually, which now stands as the highest-volume rail intermodal month ever recorded, according to AAR data.
By John D. Schulz · July 1, 2015
In the best year for the freight transportation industry since the Great Recession, logistics managers chalk up efficiencies that drive further U.S. economic growth. However, capacity issues persist, causing shippers to worry about rate hikes as carriers continue to be meticulous in their partnerships.
By Jeff Berman · July 1, 2015
Like any mode of freight transportation operating in a fluctuating economy and horrendous winter weather conditions, there are always bound to be challenges. Based on how things have played out over the last year, the railroad and intermodal sectors are clearly not immune to the ups and downs experienced on the nation’s highways.
By Jeff Berman · June 26, 2015
Even with a bit of a lull in overall growth in May, intermodal volumes remain in a decent place, according to data from the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).
By LM Staff · June 26, 2015
U.S. carloads saw a 6.1 percent annual decline at 273,932, and intermodal was up 1.6 percent annually at 276,907 containers and trailers.
By Jeff Berman · June 1, 2015
Faced with service issues and declining performance metrics, rail and intermodal providers are keeping investment levels at record highs as they continue to work through the current challenges to get back to pre-recession performance levels.
By Michael Levans · June 1, 2015
Even casual observers of the freight transportation market are finding it difficult to avoid the success that the rail intermodal sector is experiencing. In fact, most of America is catching sporadic television advertising showcasing the sustainability and productivity benefits the mode offers U.S. business—Union Pacific’s well-produced spot caught my eye during a recent broadcast of a baseball game.
By Peter Moore · June 1, 2015
The Americas are seeing old rules of thumb fall to the wayside in intermodal freight movements as new services and new levels of activity are reached. Shippers should take note as carriers are adjusting to a higher level of intermodal commerce.
By LM Staff · May 22, 2015
U.S. carloads were down 10 percent annually at 269,092, and intermodal volume saw a 4.9 percent annual gain to 280,107 containers and trailers.
By LM Staff · May 15, 2015
U.S. carloads were down 7.9 percent compared to the same week last year at 273,433, and intermodal volume was up 3.8 percent annually at 277,601 containers and trailers.
By Jeff Berman · May 6, 2015
Heading into 2015, the intermodal sector was faced with the same challenges it had exiting 2014, namely the West Coast port labor disruption and harsh winter weather. But even with these obstacles volumes still managed to show overall growth on an annual basis, according to the most recent edition of the Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report from the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).
By LM Staff · April 10, 2015
U.S. carloads were down 1.5 percent compared to the same week last year at 277,894, and intermodal volume was up 3.8 percent annually at 271,127 containers and trailers
By Jeff Berman · April 3, 2015
Carloads for the month—at 1,117,029—were down 3.4 percent, and intermodal—at 1,084,136 containers and trailers—was up 5.7 percent.

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Not Your Grandfather's Intermodal Transportation of freight in containers was first recorded around 1780 to move coal along England’s Bridgewater Canal. However, "modern" intermodal rail service by a major U.S. railroad only dates back to 1936. Malcom McLean’s Sea-Land Service significantly advanced intermodalism, showing how freight could be loaded into a “container” and moved by two or more modes economically and conveniently. As with all new technologies, there were problems that slowed the growth, which influenced many potential customers to shy away from moving intermodal.
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From the July 2016 Issue
While it’s currently a shippers market, the authors of this year’s report contend that we’ve entered a “period of transition” that will usher in a realignment of capacity, lower inventories, economic growth and “moderately higher” rates. It’s time to tighten the ties that bind.
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