Uptrend in Intermodal Volumes in August, IANA Reports

Intermodal volumes for the month of August were up significantly, following mostly broad-based declines in July, according to data provided to LM by the Intermodal Association of North America.

Total August volume, at 1,581,860, was up 2.0% year-on-year. Trailers – at 72,223 – saw another significant drop, down 25.6%, an improvement from July’s 29.0% year-over-year decline, for the segment alone tracked by IANA in decrease. Inland containers (698,252) increased by 4.7% per year. All domestic equipment, made up of trailers and domestic containers, recorded a gain of 0.9%, to 770,475. ISO, or international, containers, at 811,385, increased by 3%.

In the first eight months of 2022, IANA reported that total intermodal volume – at 12,010,490 units – was down 4.2%. Trailers, numbering 642,494, are down 21.0%, and domestic containers, numbering 5,504,843, are up 4.3% annually. All domestic equipment – at 6,147,337 – fell 0.9%. ISO containers, at 5,863,153, are down 9%.

When asked to rate the outlook for the 2022 peak season in a recent interview, IANA President and CEO Joni Casey said that while the peak season has not gone, it has flattened out over the years, in hopes that it should continue, with more stable traffic patterns from peaks and troughs throughout the year.

“There could be a noticeable increase in volumes as we approach the holiday season, which would also be normal,” but volumes still remain dependent on previously identified issues.

On the impact of inflation and still high, albeit falling, diesel prices on intermodal, Casey said inflation reduces consumer spending and demand for goods, but could help intermodal activities by reducing sensitivity to transport time.

“Higher diesel prices also work in favor of intermodal, supporting the price competitiveness of intermodal against road transport,” she said.

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics management, Modern material handlingand Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight forwarding and material handling industries on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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