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11/6/2006



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

North American intermodal volume reaches record 3.7 million units in third quarter, IANA says



During the third quarter, North American intermodal volume totaled 3.7 million units, a 4.9 percent increase compared with similar 2005 data and a new volume record, according to the Intermodal Association of North America’s (IANA) quarterly “Market Trends & Statistics” report.

Volume — which bested the previous high-water mark of 3.6 million units set in the second quarter — was driven by an 8.6 percent increase in international (ISO) containers to 2.3 million units. Escalating imports spurred ISO traffic, which posted a gain for the 18th-straight quarter and included a record 1.3 million units in August.

“International intermodal [traffic] has topped last year’s October peak every month since June,” the report states. “This demonstrates both the enduring strength of container imports and shippers moving freight earlier in the year.”

Third-quarter domestic container traffic totaled 835,000 units, a 3.1 percent increase compared with third-quarter 2005 data. However, quarterly trailer traffic decreased 5 percent to 609,000 units, causing total domestic equipment to fall 0.5 percent to 1.4 million units.

Combined international and domestic traffic increased in seven of nine regions, with the Southwest Region — which includes California — posting growth of 12 percent, IANA said.


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