intermodal volumes

Intermodal markets: Volumes up 5% with room to run

Intermodal volumes for the U.S. Class Is were up 5% year-over-year in week 24, led by an 8.1% increase in Union Pacific volumes and 8% growth in CSX. Kansas City Southern’s intermodal volumes were up 12.8% year-over-year, but on a smaller base. (KSC moved 11,477 units versus UNP’s 77,457.)  

By |August 26th, 2020|Intermodal, Rail|

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: Another round of network redesigns

Intermodal volumes continued their slow recovery and moved closer to par. The Eastern railroads – CSX and Norfolk Southern (NSC) – were especially upbeat on their earnings calls regarding intermodal growth prospects against a backdrop of tightening trucking capacity and fewer ocean blank sailings.   One notable change to CSX’s

By |July 29th, 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: Volumes getting better and better

Intermodal volumes are bouncing back to the low levels of 2019, and U.S. Class I railroads are recovering faster than their neighbors to the north and south. We believe that intermodal volumes will continue to rise, especially on the West Coast, as the number of blank sailings scheduled diminishes going

By |June 24th, 2020|Intermodal, Rail|

Intermodal markets: L.A. turns up again

Intermodal volumes continue to outperform the trailing 4-week average, and there are a few reasons why we believe this trend will continue. First, shippers are running into capacity issues getting freight out of China, reflected in Freightos Baltic Index spot rates for 40’ containers from China to the West Coast.

By |June 10th, 2020|Intermodal, Rail|