Resource Data

IANA data points to lower intermodal volumes in September

September intermodal volumes were largely down, according to data provided to ML by the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).

September’s total volume – at 1,468,650 units – was down 2.0% year-on-year. Trailers – at 66,393 – saw the biggest decline, falling 28.6% annually, before August’s 25.6% drop. Domestic containers – at 652,635 – fell 1.9%, and all domestic equipment, which includes trailers and domestic containers, fell 5.1%, to 719,028. ISOs, or international containers , were the only segment to register a year-on-year gain, up 1.2% to 749,622.

In the first nine months of 2022, IANA reported that total intermodal volume — at 13,479,140 — is down 4.0% from the same period a year ago. Trailers, numbering 708,887, decreased by 21.8% and domestic containers, numbering 6,157,478, increased by 3.6%. All domestic equipment – at 6,866,365 – rose 0.2%. ISO containers fell 8.0% to 6,612,775.

When asked to rate the outlook for the 2022 peak season in a recent interview, IANA President and CEO Joni Casey said in a previous interview that while the peak season hasn’t gone away, it’s 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.

In LM At the 12th Annual Rail/Intermodal Roundtable, Larry Gross, President of Gross Transportation Consulting, said the international situation reflects capacity limitations as large volumes of cargo continue to float off U.S. ports awaiting unloading. and subsequent inner movement.

“But the domestic situation appears to be more demand-driven, as substantial capacity has been added to the system in the form of new private domestic containers,” he said. “However, the lack of support frames was also a constraint.”

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