Most growth in domestic intermodal increases came through movement of containers, which were up 8.4% year over year. Although there was a decline in the number of 48-foot containers, the use of 53-foot containers continues to grow. Volumes of 53-foot containers were up 31% during the quarter. Movement of international freight continued to grow although not at as vigorous pace as had been experienced during the same period last year.
Rail intermodal activity has shown gains for the past five years and is continuing into 2006. In 2005, IANA reported a total of 13,641,872 moves, 11,057610 of which were containers and 2,584,262 trailers.
The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) reports that during all-day hearings on the subject of rail fuel surcharges by the Surface Transportation Board, carriers claimed they are not recovering their costs of fuel with their surcharges. On the other hand, while shippers generally agreed that surcharges where the correct way for carriers to recover unusual and unexpected jumps in fuel costs, the ways in which they are imposed should be clear and easy to grasp.