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Intermodal volumes increased 4.5 percent to nearly 4.5 million units in second-quarter 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) announced yesterday.The increase marked the strongest growth in nearly three years, according to IANA's "Intermodal Market Trends and Statistics" report. International intermodal traffic — which surged 5.6 percent to 2.2 million units in Q2 2017 — was the primary driver of the increase, IANA officials said in a press release.Domestic containers climbed 3.2 percent to nearly 1.9 million units, while trailer volumes jumped 3.9 percent to 302,372 units in the quarter compared with the same period a year ago."Growth in Q2 indicates that economic conditions continue to improve for all segments of the intermodal market," said IANA President and Chief Executive Officer Joni Casey. "Year-to-date performance is a healthy 3.3 percent, notwithstanding a weak year-over-year comparison for the second quarter."The seven highest density trade corridors accounted for 63.4 percent of total intermodal volume. Collectively, volume in those trade corridors rose 4 percent in the quarter over the year-ago period. The Trans-Canada lane led the way with an 11.4 percent expansion. The Midwest-Northwest experienced the only decline, down 0.6 percent. The remaining five corridors' growth ranged from 1.3 percent to 4.6 percent in Q2 2017 compared with a year ago.
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