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Rail News: Intermodal

IANA 2Q report: North American intermodal volume climbed, international container total reached four-year high


In the second quarter, international container volume in North America reached 1,951,571 units, up 3.9 percent compared with second-quarter 2011 and the sector’s best quarterly result in a year, according to the Intermodal Association of North America’s (IANA) latest Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics report. In absolute terms, the international segment posted its highest second quarter since 2008, the report states.

“Port-released figures suggest that U.S. container imports gained nearly 4 percent during the quarter. Increases were closer to 3 percent on the West Coast and nearer to 5 percent on the East Coast,” IANA officials said in the report. “In comparison, Canadian container import volumes continued to make great strides, particularly on the West Coast, where imports through the ports of Prince Rupert and Vancouver posted nearly 20 percent year-over-year gains in the quarter.”

Overall, intermodal volume in 2Q totaled 3,716,321 units, up 5.2 percent year over year. Total domestic equipment volume increased 6.7 percent to 1,764,750 units, domestic container volume jumped 12.5 percent to 1,383,599 units and trailer volume fell 10.2 percent to 381,151 units. Domestic container growth was only slightly below the strong 14.9 percent gain posted in the first quarter, IANA officials said.

“Growth at this pace is exceptional during any quarter, but this gain is even more remarkable due to the softening economic climate,” said IANA President and Chief Executive Officer Joni Casey.

Intermodal marketing companies (IMCs) registered a 9.7 percent surge in 2Q intermodal volume, nearly attaining a second straight quarter of double-digit gains, the report states.

“Continued gains in rail-supplied domestic container volume helped boost IMC intermodal growth,” IANA officials said. “Although private containers still dominate the big box segment with about two-thirds of total volume, rail-supplied containers hit record volume levels in 2Q, topping 440,000 total loads.”

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More News from 8/7/2012