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Rail News: Intermodal

Chinese imports long will be key to North American intemodal traffic, study shows


China will continue to be the dominant force behind North American intermodal volumes, according to a new intermodal study released by freight transportation consultant The Tioga Group Inc.

India and southeast Asia imports are growing, but on a relatively small base, the study states. Some additional Asian cargo will shift to East Coast ports, but West Coast volume will continue to grow.

In addition, the study determined the efficiency of on-dock rail and inland logistics parks will continue to attract inland point intermodal traffic; south Atlantic ports will expand due to all-water routings and regional market demands; New York/New Jersey and Virginia ports will continue as the primary East Coast entry points; and a shortage of bulk shipping capacity is shifting grain exports to containers, creating a shortage of containers in grain growing regions.

The Tioga Group interviewed more than 60 leading supply-chain firms — including shippers, carriers, third-party providers and ports — to compile information for the study.