Intermodal growth continues on uptrend
May 17, 2004 8:37 AM
Growth has been sustained in intermodal volume for the past eight quarters, according to Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics, a quarterly publication of the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA). As the US economy has improved, and concerns over new hours-of-service rules have potentially moved trailers from roads to rails, domestic intermodal volume has set the pace for intermodal growth with an 8.7 percent increase in the first quarter of 2004. This joint strength of trailer and domestic container growth has provided the best total domestic gains since IANA began reporting the statistics in 1996.
While trailer volume increased 11 percent during the first quarter--the strongest growth ever reported by IANA for trailers--gains in domestic container volume were down only in comparison to trailers. Their seven percent escalation was the second best growth figure in a year, and only slightly below 7.6 gain in the fourth quarter of 2003.
Transloaded international freight did not drive gains, and the greatest expansion came from the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest regions. While international volume also grew in the first quarter, it improved more slowly than in recent years. Volume increased in all key corridors that IANA monitors, with the three corridors showing the most significant bi-directional activity being Northeast-Midwest (16.7 percent), Southeast-Southwest (11 percent), and, Midwest–Southwest (9.4 percent).
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