Intermodal Volumes Up 7.2 Percent in the First Quarter, the Best in Almost Four Years

May 01, 2018

Intermodal Volumes Up 7.2 Percent in the First Quarter, the Best in Almost Four Years


CALVERTON, MD, May 2, 2018 – Total intermodal volumes climbed 7.2 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2018, the strongest gain since Q2 2014, according to the Intermodal Association of North America’s Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics report. Domestic containers increased 6.2 percent, international intermodal volumes 7.0 percent, and trailers led overall growth at 14.5 percent.

“Drivers for first quarter growth were an overall strong economy, the continued growth of imports, higher fuel prices, tight over-the-road capacity and weak comparisons to lower 2017 volumes in some markets,” said Joni Casey, president and CEO of IANA.

The seven highest-density trade corridors accounted for 62.8 percent of total volumes and were collectively up 6.2 percent. The Northeast-Midwest performed the best of the seven with volumes gaining 12.3 percent. The South Central-Southwest followed with 8.0 percent. The trans-Canada, intra-Southeast and Midwest-Southwest lanes had growth of 6.7 percent, 6.5 percent and 5.6 percent respectively, while the Southeast-Southwest managed 2.0 percent. Only the Midwest-Northwest experienced a decline, 4.8 percent and its fourth consecutive quarterly loss.

Intermodal Marketing Companies had another strong quarter, though slower than the previous quarter, with total loads rising 10.8 percent, mostly on highway gains. Revenue grew by 27.1 percent compared to the 27.9 percent growth in Q4.

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 first quarter Intermodal Modal Market Trends & Statistics report from Art Cleaver at The report features detailed analyses and reproducible graphical representations of Q1 2018 results.

As North America’s only industry trade association representing the combined interests of the intermodal freight industry, IANA connects its members with the resources and opportunities they need to stay informed, aligned and on the path to success. For more information, visit


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