Intermodal Recovery Strengthens in Q2

August 01, 2017

Intermodal Recovery Strengthens in Q2

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Total intermodal volumes gained 4.5 percent in Q2, the strongest growth in nearly three years, according to the Intermodal Association of North America’s Intermodal Market Trends and Statistics report. International once again was the primary driver, rising 5.6 percent; domestic containers and trailer volumes increased 3.2 percent and 3.9 percent respectively.

“Growth in Q2 indicates that economic conditions continue to improve for all segments of the intermodal market. Year-to-date performance is a healthy 3.3 percent, notwithstanding a weak year-over-year comparison for the second quarter,” said Joni Casey, president and CEO of IANA.

The seven highest-density trade corridors, accounting for 63.4 percent of total intermodal volume, collectively were up 4.0 percent in the second quarter. The Trans-Canada lane led the way with an 11.4 percent expansion, while the Midwest-Northwest, down by 0.6 percent, experienced the only decline. The remaining five corridors’ growth in Q2 ranged from 1.3 percent to 4.6 percent.

Of these seven lanes, five stood out in terms of directional activity, accounting for 42.9 percent of the three-month results. The Southwest-Midwest direction took the lion’s share with 10.6 percent. Western Canada-Eastern Canada and the Eastern Canada-Western Canada both came in at 9.2 percent, while the Midwest-Southwest route added 7.4 percent. The final in the top five, the Northeast-Midwest, accounted for 6.5 percent.

Intermodal Marketing Companies again demonstrated clear gains in the intermodal sector. While highway loads declined by 3.4 percent, intermodal volumes were up 5.8 percent for the quarter. The net result was a 0.6 percent improvement over the same period last year.

Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics is published quarterly by IANA for its members and is available on a subscription and individual copy basis for non-members. Members of the press may request a sample copy of the second quarter Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics report from Art Cleaver at The report features detailed analyses and reproducible graphical representations of Q2 2017 results.

IANA’s roster of more than 1,000 corporate members includes railroads, ocean carriers, ports, intermodal truckers and over-the-road highway carriers, intermodal marketing and logistic companies, and suppliers to the industry. This roster gives IANA a unique position within the intermodal community, one which is authoritative, holistic and able to affect change that benefits everyone. For more information, visit