The putative recovery in rail intermodal volumes hit a snag as the number of containers of all sizes moved in the U.S. fell slightly week-on-week. 

The surge in contracted truckload volumes related to consumer food-hoarding has not translated to a meaningful increase in rail volumes essentially because railroads are not in a good position to participate in grocery store restocking. While some food does move by intermodal, and refrigerated intermodal represents a specialized segment of that mode, the balance of railroads’ capacity and their networks are designed around the upstream food supply chain: bulk grains and the like.

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