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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

North American intermodal volume reaches record 3.4 million units in first quarter, IANA says

U.S. railroads’ intermodal traffic increased slightly in the first quarter, but overall North American intermodal volume posted better results for the period. Volume totaled a first-quarter record 3.4 million units, up 1.1 percent compared with the same 2006 period, according to the Intermodal Association of North America’s (IANA) quarterly Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics report.

“Intermodal growth continues even as volume has slumped in other modes of transportation,” the report states.

Although quarterly trailer volume dropped 12.7 percent to 531,122 units and total domestic equipment decreased 0.8 percent to 1.4 million units, domestic container volume jumped 8.3 percent to 850,147 units and international container volume rose 2.5 percent to 2 million units compared with first-quarter 2006.

“Domestic container traffic … reflected the continuing trend of growth in that equipment type [and] the percentage of intermodal freight that is international was 59.5 percent in the quarter compared with 53 percent five years ago,” the report states.

IANA reported volume gains in three of the nine regions it tracks. The Southwest and Midwest regions accounted for half of total volume.

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