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Intermodal Growth Streak Ends in Second Quarter

Domestic Containers Still Managed Marginal Increase

FOR RELEASE AUGUST 4, 2016
Contact: Alex Shtogren
301-982-3400, ext. 328

CALVERTON, MD, August 4, 2016 — Overall intermodal traffic recorded its first volume decline in Q2 2016 after 25 consecutive quarters of growth, according to the Intermodal Association of North America’s latest quarterly Intermodal Market Trends and Statistics report. Intermodal trailer volumes dropped 28.6 percent, continuing a multi-year downward trend, while international shipments fell 9.3 percent. Domestic container loads gained 3.4 percent, tempering the overall loss to 6.1 percent.

“The Q2 intermodal volume numbers reflected current market conditions,” said Joni Casey, president and CEO of IANA. “Year-end projections are still tracking for growth in both the domestic container and international volumes, however.”

2016 Intermodal Volumes

The seven highest-density trade corridors, accounting for 63.4 percent of total intermodal volume, collectively dropped 5.9 percent year over year, with each corridor showing a loss. In the Southeast-Southwest and the Northeast-Midwest lanes, container performance offset the drop in trailer volumes, resulting in the smallest declines of all the corridors. Containers did the opposite in the South Central-Southwest corridor which finished the quarter in negative territory by 17.6 percent.

Likewise, every region showed Q2 declines, ranging from -1.6 percent in Mexico to -14.9 percent in the South Central. The fall in international shipments between the Southwest and South Central regions was enough to pull down the overall international numbers for the quarter. Regional results also varied by exposure to trailers. Regions that saw the least trailer activity, including Mexico, the Northwest and Western Canada, came the closest to breaking even.

Intermodal Marketing Companies again demonstrated clear gains in the highway sector, up 17.0 percent from the previous year, thanks to excess trucking capacity. Intermodal loads fell 18.1 percent. The net result was a total volume decrease of 3.2 percent.

Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics is published quarterly by IANA and and is available on a subscription and individual copy basis. Effective January 2016, IANA’s Intermodal Market Trends and Statistics includes expanded information on Mexican intermodal movements. Members of the press may request a sample copy of the 2016 Second Quarter Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics from Art Cleaver at art.cleaver@intermodal.org. The report features detailed analyses and reproducible graphical representations of Q2 2016 results.

IANA is North America’s leading industry trade association representing the combined interests of the intermodal freight industry. The association’s mission is to promote the growth of efficient intermodal freight transportation through innovation, education and dialogue. The association offers valuable information and services specific to the intermodal industry encompassing consensus business solutions that facilitate operations, regulatory compliance, and policy issue management. IANA’s membership roster of over 1,000 members represents the diverse companies critical to moving freight efficiently and safely. IANA provides a discussion forum for the many types of stakeholders along the supply chain, resulting in a strong unified voice advocating the needs of intermodal freight transportation. For more information, visit www.intermodal.org.


Intermodal Association of North America, Suite 1100, 11785 Beltsville Drive, Calverton, MD 20705.

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