Tight trucking capacity continues to boost intermodal volumes out of Southern California, where volumes have recovered to a much greater extent than in Chicago, New York/New Jersey, or Savannah, Georgia.

Most of the blank sailings on the eastbound trans-Pacific lane are behind us; container volumes at West Coast ports should grow through the summer and into the fall.

We’re continuing to see slight degradation in intermodal service metrics (average train velocity and dwell times) with volume growth, a warning sign for shippers who may count on intermodal in the event of a serious capacity constraint in over-the-road trucking later this year. Other than BNSF, the railroads seem to be running their intermodal networks as lean as possible and tightly matching capacity to expected volumes.

As with trucking, a major risk to Q3 and Q4 volumes is the effect that the second wave of coronavirus outbreaks will have on policymakers and consumers. While to some extent a shift from services to goods spending has boosted freight, a further round of business closures would be destructive of demand for transportation across modes.

Members Only

You have selected content that's only available to members of FreightWaves Passport. As a member, you gain immediate access to the most in-depth and informative freight research available. It's your gateway to continuing education.

Members also get:

  • Access to exclusive community dedicated to discussing the most important challenges facing freight.
  • Monthly and Quarterly Freight Market reports keeping you informed of industry trends.
  • Much, much more!

Click below to learn more and sign up today!

Subscribe
Existing Passport subscribers log in above.