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Rail News Home Intermodal

8/10/2011



Rail News: Intermodal

IANA: Domestic, international intermodal volumes 'solid' in 2Q


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In the second quarter, both domestic and international intermodal volumes registered “solid gains,” according to the Intermodal Association of North America’s (IANA) latest “Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics” report. Total intermodal volume climbed 6.5 percent to 3.5 million units compared with second-quarter 2010 data.

Total domestic equipment volume rose 7.8 percent to 1.7 million units and domestic container traffic increased 9 percent to 1.3 million units. Domestic container volume grew at a stronger pace than the two previous quarters and posted an “especially impressive” rate of increase since the highest gain of 16.4 percent was recorded in second-quarter 2010, IANA officials said in the report.

“Domestic intermodal’s strong pace was bolstered by a steep rise in diesel prices that likely made it more cost-effective for shippers to shift freight off the highway,” they said.

Trailer traffic increased 4.6 percent year over year to 424,587 units. Trailer volume rose at a slightly slower pace than in previous quarters primarily because of a continued equipment shift toward domestic containers, the report states.

Meanwhile, international container volume rose 5.4 percent to 1.9 million units — the slowest rate of international growth since late 2009, according to IANA.

“[But] it should be noted that previous quarters benefited from weak comparisons,” the report states. “International shipments also would likely have been higher were it not for the disasters in Japan that reduced the volume of Japanese imports.”

Overall, the rate of intermodal growth slowed from the first quarter to the second. However, intermodal volume still remains in line with many industry analyst estimates of 6 percent to 8 percent year-over-year growth, IANA officials said.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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