Intermodal Shipping

Intermodal Shipping

News, data and analysis of the various factors that are driving the continued expansion of intermodal shipping activity around the globe.

Steady growth in the number of road freight carriers is leading to greater traffic congestion and costly delays in the delivery of goods to end-users in business and consumer markets. Governments and regulatory bodies are introducing costly, stringent regulations to reduce vehicle emissions. Intermodal infrastructures are improving, along with other advances in technology for managing complex supply chains that operate across various modes of transportation.

All of those factors are compelling many companies to use an intermodal combination of sea, road and railways to transport their goods on longer routes, rather than depend on a single mode of transportation. The cost-reduction benefits are significant for shippers, buyers, freight forwarders and other stakeholders in the supply chain.

 

 

 

Commentary

What does the term “Industry 4.0” mean for logistics and supply chains? Logistics 4.0 has recently emerged as a move to smart transportation and logistics, enhanced sales and operations planning, and dynamic logistics network configuration.

News & Analysis

12 Jul 2019
Analysts expect more of a negative outlook from railroads in second-quarter earnings calls, as shippers have not sent as much on intermodal as they have anticipated in 2019.
11 Jul 2019
While the current perception is that there is an ongoing shift of cargo occurring from the West Coast to the East and Gulf coasts, data shows that is not necessarily the case.
08 Jul 2019
A large share of US-bound Mexican freight is shoved through an increasingly tight funnel of truck lanes vulnerable to freight surges, migration crises, and trade disputes.
Rail is critical link in chassis solution
05 Jul 2019
Although chassis discussions usually are focused on marine ports, figuring out a solution to chronic equipment shortages must take into account an equally complex set of railroad operations across the US heartland.
John Atkins, president GCT
03 Jul 2019
Sponsored: John Atkins, President, Global Container Terminals USA, discusses his company's recent expansions, including their ExpressRail Port Jersey and truck reservation system.
01 Jul 2019
TRAC and DCLI have reached an interoperability agreement for the BNSF terminal outside of Dallas, which could lower the likelihood of chassis shortages. Open choice advocates worry this "duopoly" will spread to other Gulf Coast markets and limit trucker choice.
26 Jun 2019
The eighth-largest US trucking operator adds an intermodal option in Indianapolis, making service between the US Midwest and Northeast more competitive with trucks.
JOC Mexico Trade Conference 2019
26 Jun 2019
JOC Senior Editor Bill Cassidy on US-Mexico border congestion, a topic to be explored further July 30-31 in Mexico City at the JOC Mexico Trade Conference.
20 Jun 2019
A sharp decline in shipper spending and freight volumes causes some to sound the recession alarm, but others still see slower growth, not steep decline, amid tariff threats.
19 Jun 2019
Ike, a developer of automated trucks led by veterans of Uber, Google and Apple, says ATs are entering a new phase, but still many years from widespread use.
19 Jun 2019
Despite a downturn in volume, freight shippers say intermodal remains a critical component of their supply chains even as technology is poised to lower truck costs.
18 Jun 2019
Logistics growth is moderating, but shipper of choice programs are surviving because lower rates won't guarantee on-time delivery, speakers at the CSCMP State of Logistics Report launch said.
17 Jun 2019
There is consensus building in the intermodal industry that each port or rail hub should develop a regional pool of grey chassis managed by a single entity responsible for ensuring chassis quality and availability.
14 Jun 2019
Truckload rates out of Atlanta and the West Coast have increased significantly amid the arrival of the spring produce and retail season, and the movement of excess inventory from bonded warehouses.
14 Jun 2019
If the UK leaves the European Union without a deal, industry fears massive delays at ferry ports of Dover in the UK and Calais in France.
12 Jun 2019
The British Columbia ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert are increasing their market share of US cargo because Canadian railroads are pricing intermodal more aggressively to the US Midwest than are US western railroads.
12 Jun 2019
Chasing volume at the expense of profitability is a “problematic recipe,” according to the author, pointing to ocean container carriers as an example.
10 Jun 2019
The new expanded intermodal rail yard has reopened at the Port of Virginia, doubling capacity for CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern. The port says this means quicker transfers from ships to trains.
10 Jun 2019
Transportation consulting firm Trans-Logistics Group is expanding its advisory services for US freight shippers, opening an office in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
04 Jun 2019
Union Pacific Railroad and Norfolk Southern Railway announced a series of changes to cross-country service, which will require a crosstown drayage in Chicago for a number of international loads heading to and from ports.
29 May 2019
Although last week’s Surface Transportation Board hearing didn’t include intermodal, shippers complain about penalties assessed when their cargo arrives on a Friday night and their warehouses are closed until Monday.
28 May 2019
Economists and shipping industry leaders warn the US-China trade war could be a potential tipping point for a global economy that was already cooling before President Donald Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods.
24 May 2019
Panel says shippers need to be proactive in negotiating different terms into their contracts to protect themselves when no chassis are available for final delivery.
24 May 2019
The Federal Maritime Commission briefed the STB this week about the efforts of Memphis shippers and truckers to establish a chassis pool to eliminate a common cause of rail demurrage penalties.
21 May 2019
Retail giants Walmart and Amazon have entered into conversations directly with Class I railroads to enter in service agreements, bucking the historical structure in which shippers are required to use intermediaries to procure space.
20 May 2019
At a time when freight volumes should be increasing, they’re slowing, casting a shadow over the outlook for US trucking and intermodal rail operators.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.