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Rail News: Intermodal

North American trailer moves set stage for first-quarter intermodal growth, IANA says


North American intermodal volume is surging, but not solely because of increasing container traffic. During the first quarter, domestic trailer volume rose 11 percent — the segment's highest-ever percentage growth tabulated by the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA), according to the association's quarterly "Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics" report.

Domestic container traffic increased 7 percent compared with similar 2003 data, helping the North American intermodal industry record its eighth-straight quarter of volume growth.

"As the U.S. economy has improved, and concerns over new hours-of-service rules have potentially moved trailers from roads to rails, domestic intermodal volume has set the pace for intermodal growth with an 8.7 percent increase in the first quarter," said IANA officials in a prepared statement. "This joint strength of trailer and domestic container growth has provided the best total domestic gains since IANA began reporting these statistics in 1996."

Intermodal volume increased in all key corridors, but the Northeast-to-Midwest, Southeast-to-Southwest and Midwest-to-Southwest corridors registered the highest percentage gains compared with first-quarter 2003 data at 16.7 percent, 11 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively.

Although quarterly international volume increased, the percentage was lower compared with recent years' first-quarter data, IANA said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/11/2004