Domestic Container Traffic on the Upswing in the Fourth Quarter

Feb. 22, 2010
Domestic container volume increased 9.0% during the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to Q4 08. December volume was nearly 17% above year-ago levels. Total 2009 domestic container volumes were 2.9% above 2008 figures

The improvement in the U.S. economy during the fourth quarter translated into modest gains for intermodal shipments, according to the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA). Domestic container volume increased 9.0% during the quarter compared to Q4 08. All but two IANA regions recorded domestic container volume gains.

December volume was a substantial 16.9% above year-ago levels. This strong growth combined with modest gains throughout the year propelled total 2009 domestic container volumes 2.9% above 2008 figures.

International volume declined during the quarter, but the pace of decline slowed significantly. The decline was fairly widespread across most IANA regions. While international decreased 12.3% during the quarter compared to Q4 08, volume improved significantly compared to the previous three quarters, which each posted losses above 20%. While the pace of declines slowed during the quarter, total intermodal volume for the period was still 6.4% below Q4 08.

Fourth Quarter 2009 Intermodal Volume Comparisons


Equipment Type

2008

2009

Change

Trailers

491,128

415,455

-15.4 %

Domestic Containers

980,634

1,068,754

+9.0 %

All Domestic Equipment

1,471,762

1,484,209

+0.8 %

ISO Containers

1,794,967

1,574,662

-12.3 %

Total

3,266,729

3,058,871

-6.4 %

Overall 2009 Intermodal Volume Comparisons


Equipment Type

2008

2009

Change

Trailers

2,060,399

1,604,555

-22.1 %

Domestic Containers

3,849,327

3,960,480

+2.9 %

All Domestic Equipment

5,909,726

5,565,035

-5.8 %

ISO Containers

7,749,769

6,105,315

-21.2 %

Total

13,659,495

11,670,350

-14.6 %

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