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International Lifts Intermodal, Gaining 6.8% in Quarter-over-Quarter Comparison

[ August 29, 2015   //   ]

Q2 Growth Pulls Year-to-Date Volumes Up 3.9 Percent

Intermodal volumes jumped 4.5% in Q2, with international surpassing expectations, according to the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA)’s second quarter Intermodal Market Trends and Statistics report released on August 5. Despite some softening due to declining trailer volumes, domestic containers buoyed the overall domestic market segment with 3.5% growth.

“International volumes displayed one of the largest increases since IANA began keeping records in 2000,” said Joni Casey, president and CEO of IANA. “While much of the strong performance in Q2 was due to the recovery from the first quarter’s port congestion issues, strengthening imports also played a role in pushing international volumes higher. We are also optimistic that the domestic market will continue to show gains, as the over-the-road segment begins to tighten.”

The seven highest-density trade corridors, accounting for 65.8% of total intermodal volume, rose 4% this quarter, just below the 4.5% industry average. Growth rates for each individual corridor varied widely. The intra-southeast corridor, positively impacted by stronger imports through southeastern ports, led the way as intermodal volumes jumped a full 23% during the quarter.

Fewer swings in regional growth occurred than usual. Notable exceptions were the South Central and Southeast regions, where strong international growth surpassed industry averages, and Mountain Central and Eastern Canada regions, which failed to see intermodal volumes climb. Excluding these four areas, most regions recorded intermodal growth in line with the industry average.

Intermodal Marketing Companies (IMCs) posted strong year-over-year Q2 volume growth. Intermodal loads jumped 4.5%, and IMC highway volume soared 8.2%, which was three times the pace of overall highway trailer loads.