Intermodal Sets Volume Record in Third Quarter

Intermodal volume hit a new record of 3.7 million loads in the third quarter, increasing by 4.9% and topping the previous high set in the second quarter, according to the Intermodal Association of North America’s “Market Trends & Statistics” report (Calverton, Md.).

The increase was led by an 8.6% rise in international traffic. It marked the 18th consecutive quarter of growth, and included an all-time monthly high of 1.3 million shipments in August. The previous monthly record of 1.24 million loads was set in June of this year.

The quarterly report, which contains detailed, market information, showed August international volume 12% above October of 2005. Combined international and domestic traffic rose in seven of the nine IANA regions. Driven by the continued rise in Asian imports, the Southwest region experienced the fastest international growth of 20%.

Domestic container traffic increased 3.1% in the quarter, helped by growth in the Midwest. Trailer traffic declined 5%, reflecting a continuing shift of domestic freight to containers. Total domestic volume fell 0.5%, hurt by a decline in manufacturing.

Third Quarter 2005/2006 Intermodal Volume Comparisons

Equipment Types

Q3 2005

Q3 2006

Change

Trailers

641,206

609,288

-5.0%

Domestic Containers

810,112

835,158

3.1%

All Domestic Equipment

1,451,318

1,444,446

0.5%

ISO Containers

2,076,390

2,255,098

8.6%

Total

3,527,708

3,699,544

4.9%

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