intermodal capacity

Intermodal Markets: Operating leverage first

Consider the fact that across Union Pacific, BNSF, CSX and Norfolk Southern, headcount was down 16.6% year-over-year in July (less negative than June’s -17.9%), yet last week intermodal volumes were up 1.9% year-over-year for the second week in a row.   In particular, the best intermodal volume growth has been

By |August 19th, 2020|Intermodal, Rail|

Intermodal markets: A test on the horizon

U.S. Class I intermodal volumes were down just 1.8% compared to 2019 last week as the industry benefits from growing imports and tight trucking capacity.   In general, intermodal service has held up fairly well, deteriorating only slightly as volumes have slowly ground upward toward par: Train velocities are still

By |August 5th, 2020|Intermodal, Rail|

Intermodal markets: Building steam

There’s a reductive and naive story about intermodal in which it grew faster in the 1990s and 2000s and eventually reached a level of equilibrium. Shippers were moving as much freight by intermodal, which was slower and less responsive, as they wanted, and anyway the railroads didn’t want to let

By |July 22nd, 2020|Intermodal, Rail|

Intermodal markets: Can contract rates go higher?

By removing power and capacity from the tracks and restricting services over the past few years, railroads have positioned themselves to benefit from rapidly strengthening trucking markets and take price on contract freight, in our view.   In some cases — outbound Los Angeles — intermodal spot rates are higher

By |July 15th, 2020|Intermodal, Rail|