Intermodal report shows ‘A Tale of Two Markets’

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The Intermodal Monthly Update published by (FTR Associates ) and Gross Transportation Consulting reports in the June issue that while intermodal revenue movements of international shipments continued to decline, domestic shipments are showing a distinctive upward trend.

International volumes in April edged down 0.1 percent from year-ago levels, while domestic volume surged 9.6 percent. Year-to-date figures tell a similar story – international volumes are down 3.9 percent, while domestic volumes have increased 3.7 percent.

The divergent performance indicates the different factors influencing these sectors. International performance is being hindered by the weak economy, the weak dollar and diversion of freight from intermodal to all-water routing. Domestic volumes are being stoked by sky-high and still increasing fuel prices and the decline in trucking capacity. According to the report, the overall economic outlook remains cloudy for this industry, with high oil prices and the weak dollar negatively impacting the international sector in the near term.

The Intermodal Monthly Update includes a three-year forecast for North American intermodal revenue loading by equipment type and segmented by international equipment, and domestic equipment with domestic showing splits for less-than-truckload/parcel/mail, truckload, container and trailers. Every month, the Update tracks and reports the most current industry data from a variety of sources to answer questions and identify key trends affecting businesses with intermodal interests.