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Rail News: Intermodal
Intermodal container volume climbed to record high in 2012, IANA says

Intermodal container volume in 2012 reached a record-high level of 13.1 million moves, surpassing 2011 volume by 5.9 percent and the previous benchmark year of 2007 by 9.8 percent, according to the Intermodal Association of North America's (IANA) latest "Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics" report.

Intermodal shipments in 2012 totaled 14.6 million units, up 4 percent year over year. Domestic container volume jumped 12.2 percent to 5.5 million units, all domestic equipment volume rose 6.5 percent to 7 million units, international container volume increased 1.7 percent to 7.6 million units and trailer volume fell 10.1 percent to 1.5 million units.

"For the third straight year, domestic containers were the driving factor. Forty-eight-foot and 53-foot domestic boxes accounted for 38 percent of all container movements for the year," IANA officials said in the report. "Despite some year-end softening, international volumes continued to have the largest share of total intermodal loadings at 52 percent."

In the fourth quarter, intermodal volume totaled 3.7 million units, up 2 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2011. Domestic container volume climbed 10.5 percent to 1.4 million units, all domestic equipment volume rose 4.9 percent to 1.8 million units, international container volume inched down 0.7 percent to 1.8 million units and trailer volume dropped 12.2 percent to 379,698.

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