Intermodal markets: 53-foot volume hits YTD high

Total intermodal traffic on U.S. Class I railroads was up 11.5% year-over-year last week, beating the prior four-week moving average of 10.8%. The Western rails led the way: BNSF intermodal volumes were up 13.1% year-over-year, and Union Pacific’s intermodal volumes were up 12.1% year-over-year.  Import shipments into Los Angeles and

By |November 25th, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|

Reefer markets: Reefer carriers see lowest ORs in years

The national average refrigerated truckload spot rate on’s load boards is an incredible $3.36/mile, including fuel. That has kept reefer tender rejections very high and operating ratios very low. We called the bull market for refrigerated trucking transportation in our June 1 note, “Reefer markets: Enjoying a positive setup.”

By |November 13th, 2020|3PLs, Featured, News, Special Topic, Trucking|

Intermodal markets: Chicago and Savannah tighten up

Shippers and intermodal marketing companies are running into intermodal capacity constraints all over the country, not just Southern California. Over the past week, intermodal tender rejections soared in Joliet (Chicago) and Savannah, Georgia, even as spot rates took another leg up out of Los Angeles. There still appears to be

By |November 4th, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|

Intermodal markets: On-time performance suffers

CSX’s Intermodal Trip Plan Performance rate fell to 87.4% from 94% in the second quarter. Trip Plan Performance refers to on-time rates against planned estimated times of arrival on a per-container (or carload) basis, and is therefore a more relevant, customer-centric service metric than dwell time or train velocity.  

By |October 21st, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|

Intermodal markets: JBHT and KCS earnings on Friday

On Friday, we’ll hear third-quarter financial results from two important players in the intermodal industry: J.B. Hunt and Kansas City Southern (KCS). In our view, the most important issues at stake are the degree to which the respective management teams believe the COVID-juiced surge in intermodal volumes is sustainable into

By |October 14th, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|

Intermodal markets: Escape from LA

Another wave of rate and service volatility, the product of high volumes and tight capacity, will work its way through the country from its source in Southern California. Rates out of Los Angeles spiked as intermodal tender rejection rates, which only come into play during periods of serious disruption, are

By |October 9th, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|