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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

IMCs' second-quarter loads down, revenue-per-load up despite mixed economy, IANA says


The second quarter wasn't kind to intermodal marketing companies, with total intermodal loads declining 24.2 percent compared with second-quarter 2000, according to Intermodal Association of North America's (IANA) Intermodal Marketing Company (IMC) Market Activity Report released Oct. 5.
Second-quarter total revenue, including highway and intermodal loads, also dropped 17.9 percent compared with the same time period, and 11 percent compared with first-quarter 2001.
However, not all second-quarter data was bleak for IMCs — average revenue per intermodal load rose 7.2 percent compared with the same period last year, and has risen $6.50 since the beginning of the year.
Revenue-per-load's slow upward trend might be due to stabilizing rates or increasing haul lengths, IANA said.
Overall, the report claims that while earning shortfalls, workforce reductions and plant closings continue to affect certain business sectors, that economic climate barely has affected intermodal traffic volumes. But the same can't be said of declining auto production and flatlining industrial goods orders.
Domestic intermodal traffic now primarily consists of inventory replenishment moves between manufacturers and distribution centers. However, once inventories change due to increasing or decreasing sales, IANA believes intermodal business will be among the first affected.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/8/2001