Intermodal Shipping

Intermodal Shipping

News, data and analysis of the various factors that are driving the continued expansion of intermodal shipping activity around the globe.

Steady growth in the number of road freight carriers is leading to greater traffic congestion and costly delays in the delivery of goods to end-users in business and consumer markets. Governments and regulatory bodies are introducing costly, stringent regulations to reduce vehicle emissions. Intermodal infrastructures are improving, along with other advances in technology for managing complex supply chains that operate across various modes of transportation.

All of those factors are compelling many companies to use an intermodal combination of sea, road and railways to transport their goods on longer routes, rather than depend on a single mode of transportation. The cost-reduction benefits are significant for shippers, buyers, freight forwarders and other stakeholders in the supply chain.





What does the term “Industry 4.0” mean for logistics and supply chains? Logistics 4.0 has recently emerged as a move to smart transportation and logistics, enhanced sales and operations planning, and dynamic logistics network configuration.

News & Analysis

16 Sep 2021
Norfolk Southern Railway, which expects all chassis subject to a June safety recall to be repaired by next month, will buy more chassis in 2022 to address supply chain congestion.
08 Sep 2021
The chairman of the US Surface Transportation Board urged railroads to focus less on serving Wall Street investors and more on serving shippers, employees, and the public interest — or else the agency may have to intervene.
11 Aug 2021
Both of the primary ingredients to the traditional US intermodal peak season — a seasonal increase in demand and an increase in the number of TEU processed — are in question in 2021.
30 Jul 2021
Tight intermodal rail capacity and a massive wave of US imports are encouraging transloading to trucks and boosting truckload spot rates from Southern California to inland distribution points.
30 Jul 2021
Intermodal shippers saved record amounts of money in the second quarter, but rate hikes in California, Texas, and Washington will make trucks the cheaper option on transactional loads in the western US going forward.
29 Jul 2021
Union Pacific Railroad has raised domestic intermodal surcharges for a fourth time in 2021 with a $5,000 per container fee on excess contract loads for low-volume shippers in California.
20 Jul 2021
J.B. Hunt says shippers and railroads must improve how quickly they process containers to prevent a peak season supply chain meltdown.
15 Jul 2021
Union Pacific’s emergency measure is meant to help move a stack of containers at its Global IV terminal outside of Chicago where an estimated 2,000–3,000 containers sit without chassis.
12 Jul 2021
Shortages of trailers, containers, chassis, and drivers helped draw down volumes 3 percent in June from May, but the rates measured by the Cass Freight Index shot up 11 percent month to month.
08 Jul 2021
Norfolk Southern has shut down domestic intermodal traffic on four busy domestic intermodal lanes into central Pennsylvania for non-asset partners, a signal the eastern US railroad is struggling to handle volume surges and a 53-foot chassis safety recall.
07 Jul 2021
Trailers are just as important to over-the-road trucking as containers are to intermodal rail, and just as scarce.
02 Jul 2021
CSX has temporarily cut the number of reservations to bring in domestic containers in Chicago because of overwhelming volume, a common theme among the Class I railroads struggling in the Windy City.
01 Jul 2021
Union Pacific Railroad has decided to cap storage fees for inaccessible containers at Chicago’s Global IV terminal after one shipper was slammed with a bill for more than $10,000.
01 Jul 2021
With the award of a $46.8 million federal grant, the Georgia Ports Authority can begin construction on a new inland port in Gainesville, Georgia, that will provide a direct intermodal connection to the port of Savannah when it opens in 2024.
01 Jul 2021
Amid multimodal capacity shortages, Norfolk Southern is increasing daily accessorial charges on shippers who hold onto its 53-foot domestic EMP and TMX containers, hoping to speed turns for containers and chassis and maintain capacity that is under pressure.
01 Jul 2021
CMA CGM has acquired a rail operator in Spain, adding an intermodal dimension to the ocean carrier’s expanding integrated service portfolio.
28 Jun 2021
Norfolk Southern is significantly cutting domestic intermodal service on two dozen lanes as an emergency measure because of the safety recall of 5,100 chassis.
24 Jun 2021
The plight of one BCO on the hook for huge storage fees is familiar to fellow importers struggling to access thousands of containers at Union Pacific Railroad’s Global IV terminal in Joliet, Illinois.
23 Jun 2021
A shortage of railcars and backlog of rail containers that first surfaced in Los Angeles-Long Beach this winter have migrated up the coast to Seattle, resulting in significant congestion at the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s largest container terminal.
23 Jun 2021
A lack of truck drivers and equipment, not a cooler economy, is behind a recent drop in for-hire trucking tonnage and spot market volume, as demand overshoots supply chain capacity.
22 Jun 2021
An industry group is urging participants along the supply chain to quickly turn around equipment as the July 4th holiday will see severe tightness for containers and chassis.
21 Jun 2021
Norfolk Southern Railway told customers that a chassis safety recall involves more than 5,000 domestic 53-foot chassis that have problems with their wheels.
15 Jun 2021
Norfolk Southern Railway and Union Pacific Railroad are having trouble getting containers to shippers, in part because their supply of 53-foot chassis is very low.
11 Jun 2021
Knight-Swift Transportation, one of the top five US domestic intermodal providers, will be leaving BNSF Railway on Jan. 1, 2022, to partner with Union Pacific Railroad in the western US.
07 Jun 2021
Top trucking and intermodal providers are raising penalties on shippers who do not promptly unload and return 53-foot trailers or containers.
03 Jun 2021
BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad are looking for creative solutions to increase space to store containers in their Chicago terminals amid another spike in inland intermodal volume.
02 Jun 2021
Union Pacific has raised surcharges out of California for a second time in 2021, a sign it is concerned about having enough rail-owned 53-foot containers to supply core contract customers through the upcoming peak season.
01 Jun 2021
BNSF will adjust its free time calculations on June 7, tightening the window for shippers to pick up containers that are made available after 5:00 p.m., just two weeks after Norfolk Southern slashed its free time clock.
26 May 2021
After a rough six-week period following the paralyzing February snowstorm in Texas, intermodal terminals are operating with fewer delays in Dallas-Fort Worth, with chassis available and driver productivity bucking national trends.
06 May 2021
The JOC Intermodal Savings Index hit a new record in Q1, but rising spot intermodal rates and surcharges could reduce savings in Q2.
20 Apr 2021
A group of Memphis shippers and truckers want the US Surface Transportation Board to instruct railroads to stop charging storage fees until a chassis shortage is resolved.
19 Apr 2021
Intermodal service in Kansas City is a “complete mess,” according to three cargo owners, with an import surge causing chassis shortages and restrictions on what containers can be picked up or dropped off at rail terminals.
16 Apr 2021
J.B. Hunt will be adding 12,000 new containers in 2021, upping its original order announced in January based on increased shipper demand for intermodal service.
12 Apr 2021
Domestic intermodal shippers in California will be subject to a surcharge of $1,000 to $1,500 on excess contract cargo beginning Apr. 25, the first time Union Pacific has instituted such a peak-season fee before the summer.
09 Apr 2021
Digital marketplace Convoy is warning US shippers and trucking companies of the risks from what may be the sixth straight year of above-average hurricanes and storms.