Rail & Intermodal

Rail & Intermodal

The latest news, analysis, and developments affecting rail transport globally. Rail transport in the United States is dominated by privately held Class I railroads such as BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway and Union Pacific Railroad. Canadian Pacific and National Railways also operate in the United States.  

News & Analysis

17 May 2019
J.B. Hunt Transport Services has received a license to be a non-vessel operating common carrier and ocean freight forwarder to take greater control of the transportation of its containers and chassis from China.
09 May 2019
BNSF Railway, Norfolk Southern, and CSX say domestic intermodal contract rates have risen by upper single-digit percentages in the first quarter, but some non-asset intermodal marketing companies tell quite a different story.
08 May 2019
The costs of climate change and impacts to business are typically discussed as abstract and distant, but a review of recent history shows those costs are already here, and climbing.
08 May 2019
Coastal transshipment at Indian ports has grown considerably since the relaxation of cabotage rules, but detractors argue that privately operated minor ports have reaped more of the benefits than their publicly run counterparts.
08 May 2019
Historically, intermodal rail has offered a slower, lower-cost option for shippers, but with truckload prices falling, intermodal rail is now more expensive than trucking in some secondary markets.
03 May 2019
Union Pacific Railroad will be closing the Global III terminal northwest of Chicago as part of its precision scheduled railroading operations in a shakeup that will send domestic intermodal volumes to Global II and international traffic to Global IV.
26 Apr 2019
Canadian National is the latest Class I railroad to launch a mobile application for truck drivers to move more quickly through intermodal terminals by submitting documents ahead of time.
24 Apr 2019
Two inland ports tied to the Port of New York and New Jersey by rail could help get trucks off the road but, if completed, they won’t alleviate storage pressure expected to rise as the port grows its discretionary rail volume to the Midwest.
24 Apr 2019
Norfolk Southern saw big gains in international containers in the first quarter, but the railroad rejects the idea of domestic intermodal weakness in 2019 and is confident that rail pricing won’t be challenged by a much looser truck market.
23 Apr 2019
India’s largest freight rail operator will maintain its current pricing through March 31, 2020, as part of a greater effort to encourage containerized rail movements throughout the country.
22 Apr 2019
Applications are now being accepted for $900 million in USDOT BUILD grants for the upcoming fiscal year, a 40 percent reduction from the $1.5 billion made available last year for port, road, and rail projects.
18 Apr 2019
Kansas City Southern referred to congestion in Houston as a smaller version of Chicago gridlock, while acknowledging coordination with Union Pacific Railroad needs to be better and precision scheduled railroading could help.
18 Apr 2019
Slowing international growth and declining domestic volume in the first quarter point to the worst performance in intermodal since the freight recession ended in late 2016.
18 Apr 2019
Kansas City Southern (KCS) reported a decline in first-quarter intermodal volumes due to the teacher blockade that stopped cargo going in and out of the port of Lazaro Cardenas by rail.
17 Apr 2019
Intermodal volume will be down for many of the Class I railroads and trucking companies providing intermodal service, and although weather is an excuse, larger questions remain about the sector in the short and long term.
17 Apr 2019
The UK freight transport industry will need government support if any real advances are to be made in decarbonizing the supply chain.
11 Apr 2019
North American intermodal volume ended the first quarter worse than initially forecast due to changing shipping patterns and flooding in the Midwest, but there are signs that this is an inflection point to a difficult 2019 and not a fleeting blip.
10 Apr 2019
Ohio-based intermodal services company COFC Logistics is launching two intermodal services that will move 53-foot containers northbound from Mexico City as trucking capacity tightens and cargo volumes increase.
09 Apr 2019
Rising cargo volumes, growing manufacturing heft, and some new trade agreements are positioning Mexico as a logistics hub, raising questions about whether the country's infrastructure can handle the added stress.
Greg Knowler, senior editor, JOC
08 Apr 2019
Greg Knowler, senior editor, JO
05 Apr 2019
CSX has shown signs of better service under the PSR model, but shippers and analysts say there are still important performance benchmarks PSR railroads in the US have not yet achieved.
04 Apr 2019
With cross-border freight already delayed and logistics costs rising, businesses must plan for a potential closure of the US-Mexico border threatened by President Trump.
04 Apr 2019
After a nationwide trucker strike last May, transportation providers like Maersk and Brazilian railroad Brado are taking a multimodal approach to avoid becoming overly dependent on a volatile trucking market.
03 Apr 2019
It was rail versus road last week in the European Parliament, where proposals from the two sectors met with two very different results.
29 Mar 2019
Union talks with management at the UK’s market leading rail freight company are under way to avoid a strike that could bring the rail cargo business to a standstill.
28 Mar 2019
Domestic intermodal volume will decline on a quarterly basis for the first time since 2016 to begin this year, but it’s still unclear whether the drop in shipments is a worrisome trend or a result of comparisons to an extraordinary 2018.
25 Mar 2019
Although the 2018 imports and intermodal shipments were inflated somewhat due to the tariffs, the 10-year trend has been increased transloading of imports to domestic containers in Southern California.
Ari Ashe, associate editor
25 Mar 2019
Ari Ashe, associate editor, JOC
19 Mar 2019
As a multi-state region is devastated by historic flooding, shippers are rerouting, delaying cargo until waters recede and the full impact on truck capacity becomes clear.
Ari Ashe, associate editor
18 Mar 2019
Ari Ashe, associate editor, JOC.com, discusses his outlook for intermodal fluidity in 2019, following a challenging 2018 where intermodal volume grew more than anticipated.
15 Mar 2019
All empty and loaded containers are being embargoed from three Union Pacific Railroad terminals due to a shortage of railcars, the second such shortage in the last three weeks.
15 Mar 2019
Should shipment volumes of privately owned domestic containers continue to outpace those of rail-owned units, it will have major implications for the future of non-asset intermodal retailers.
14 Mar 2019
Port authorities in the US Southeast have opened up inland ports in recent years to eliminate mutli-hour drays, free up truck capacity, and raise driver productivity.
14 Mar 2019
CSX Transportation is requiring shippers to book reservations for their truckers to return empty containers or drop off loaded boxes, which has gone smoothly in smaller markets but caused major concerns in Chicago, Memphis, and Nashville.
14 Mar 2019
The French ocean carrier’s latest intermodal offering aligns with its strategic goal of offering more integrated supply chain services, as well as an Indian government goal to convert more container cargo from truck to rail.
12 Mar 2019
Dallas cargo owners will lose a rail option to Houston in late April