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|

Intermodal markets: Rolling strong into Q4

Intermodal volumes were still up mid-single digits in Week 39 (up 5.5% year-over-year), even as railroads raise prices on shippers and intermodal marketing companies and congestion at Southern Californian ports worsens.   Ocean bookings data, particularly on the trans-Pacific, indicates that imports will stay strong for at least the next

By |September 30th, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|

Intermodal markets: The trouble with service

Average intermodal train velocities improved by 1.2 mph compared to last week while dwell times were flat, but those numbers don’t capture the full reality of the service as experienced by shippers.   Railroads adjust equipment fleets, power and crew starts to maintain operating leverage in response to rising and

By |September 23rd, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|

Intermodal markets: Under pressure

U.S. Class I railroads have largely arrested declines in average intermodal train velocity and lengthening terminal dwell times, but they’re doing so by punishing shippers for tendering surge and spot volumes.    Union Pacific has imposed surcharges of $5,000 on spot intermodal containers outbound from California because previous rate hikes

By |September 2nd, 2020|Intermodal, News, Rail|

Please Mr. Postman

Two things can be true at the same time: The United States Postal Service is an invaluable public service crucial to the transportation of pharmaceuticals, official documents and much else, and it’s also in an unsustainable position and in need of a turnaround.   Many people are aware of the

By |August 21st, 2020|Featured, Most Popular, News, Shippers, Special Topic|