Intermodal rail volumes had a particularly bad week and declined sharply across all container sizes on a national basis. As we pointed out in last week’s intermodal report, “Not catching the wave,” the kinds of freight driving the unprecedented surge in truckload demand — shorter-haul refrigerated loads on the East Coast — do not map onto intermodal’s core strengths.

That said, intermodal could get worse from here. It’s true that production in China is coming back and even in Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, movement and work restrictions are being lifted. Containership line alliances are reorganizing their trans-Pacific services.

The trouble has shifted to the demand side, though.

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