Dropoff in intermodal movements reported

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Intermodal Monthly Update, published by FTR Associates and Gross Transportation Consulting, reported in its January issue a continued weak performance for the intermodal segment through December 2007.

Intermodal revenue moves for the month of December dropped 11 percent from November. Total 2007 intermodal revenue movements of 14.08 million resulted in a decline of 1.1 percent from 2006. According to the report, loss of intermodal freight to alternative all-water movement has been a significant drag on intermodal volumes in key longhaul lanes in 2007.

“Substantial amounts of import freight that previously landed on the West Coast and moved East via long-haul ‘transcon’ intermodal is now landing on the East Coast,” says Larry Gross, author of the Intermodal Monthly Update. “The trend is most acute in the southern U.S.”

The intermodal forecast continues to move lower as international equipment movements via rail will remain weak over the next several quarters; FTR and GTC forecast total loadings to grow by only 1.6 percent in 2008.