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IANA: North American intermodal volume fell in Q2

Volumes for the remainder of 2019 will depend on economic factors, highway capacity and ongoing trade policy decisions.
Photo – IANA Market Trends & Statistics report


Second-quarter 2019 intermodal volumes fell 3.8 percent to 4,559,065 units compared with the same quarter last year, the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) reported yesterday.

Year over year, international intermodal volume (2,381,916 containers) showed no change during the quarter, while domestic containers (1,875,011 units) and trailers (302,138 units) dropped 6.3 percent and 15.4 percent, respectively, according to IANA's Market Trends & Statistics report.

"We had hoped that domestic intermodal volumes would have recovered more at this point," said IANA President and Chief Executive Officer Joni Casey in a press release. "Most of the issues that impacted these volumes were one-of-a-kind occurrences — weather, flooding, network adjustments and inventory pull downs."

Volumes for the remainder of 2019 will depend on economic factors, highway capacity and ongoing trade policy decisions, Casey added.

The seven highest-density trade corridors, which collectively handled 63 percent of total volume, were down 6 percent in Q2 versus a year ago.

The intra-Southeast corridor showed the greatest strength at 3.2 percent growth during the quarter. At the other end of the spectrum was the Midwest-Southwest corridor, which was down 7.9 percent. The trans-Canada lane increased 1.5 percent, and the Midwest-Northwest corridor rose 0.3 percent.

Also, the South Central-Southwest Corridor dropped 5.1 percent; the Northeast-Midwest fell 5.9 percent; and the Southwest-Southeast corridor declined 6 percent.

Intermodal market companies' total volume dropped 8.1 percent year over year. For the first two quarters of this year, intermodal and highway loads both were down for the first time since the Great Recession, IANA officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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