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Total intermodal volume rose 10.5% year over year to 4,616,262 units in first-quarter 2021, according to the Intermodal Association of North America’s (IANA) Intermodal Quarterly report.
During the quarter, international containers gained 14.8% to 2,362,726 units from 2,057,685 in Q1 2020; domestic shipments rose 4.4% to 1,944,262 units from 2,862,499; and trailers climbed 20% to 309,274 units from 257,805.
“Intermodal volumes were up for the third consecutive quarter through Q1. This growth is projected to continue through the remainder of the year,” said IANA President and Chief Executive Officer Joni Casey in a press release. “Even considering weak comparisons that supported the other segments, domestic intermodal posted solid 4.4 percent gains.”
The seven highest-density trade corridors, which collectively handled more than 60% of total volume, were all up in the first quarter. Three were up double digits: Trans-Canada, 26.4%; Midwest-Southwest,15.7%; and the South Central-Southwest,15.6%.
The Southeast-Southwest grew 8.9%; the Midwest-Northwest was up 8.3%; and the Intra-Southeast posted a 7.5% increase. The Northeast-Midwest came in at a 5% increase.