Intermodal Delivers in 2017
Intermodal freight volumes posted a fourth-quarter growth rate of 5.8 percent year-over-year, according to the Intermodal Association of North America's (IANA) fourth quarter and year-end Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics report. International volume increased by 7.7 percent; domestic containers grew by a modest 2.5 percent; while trailer loads increased by 12.2 percent.
"The imbalance between imports and international volumes in 2016 has reversed, resulting in a strong 4.7-percent volume gain for the year," says Joni Casey, president and CEO of IANA.
In this fourth quarter, the seven highest-density trade corridors accounted for 62 percent of total volume and were up collectively 3.7 percent.
- The Eastern-Western Canada corridor expanded by 12.7 percent, exceeding all other lanes by a wide margin.
- The Northeast-Midwest and the South Central-Southwest reached five-percent growth.
- The Midwest-Southwest, intra-Southeast, and Southeast-Southwest lanes recorded growth of 2.4 percent, 2.2 percent, and one percent, respectively.
- The Midwest-Northwest corridor volume shrank 5.2 percent, the only lane reflecting a decrease in volume.
Traffic for Intermodal Marketing Companies increased 16.8 percent year-over-year in Q4; almost all that gain took place in the highway segment.
This is the second consecutive quarter when both intermodal and highway loadings increased. For the full year, IMC volumes were up 5.4 percent, with highway moves growing at about twice the pace of intermodal loadings, IANA reports.