3PL News

Total Intermodal Volume Continues to Increase Despite Sluggish Economy

CALVERTON, MD., Nov. 5, 2012 – Domestic container volume recorded double digit growth for the fourth quarter in a row according to the Intermodal Association of North America’s Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics report, released today. Every IANA region reflected an increase in domestic containers which were responsible for the majority of total third quarter intermodal gains. Volumes were most impressive in the Midwest and the Northeast regions, with each recording nearly a 15 percent uptick.

Overall intermodal volume increased a respectable 3.2 percent during a quarter that exhibited some economic slowdowns. Trailer volume dropped 10.7 percent, as shippers continued to move away from 45-foot and 48-foot equipment, although 53-foot trailer shipments held close to last year’s volumes, dropping only a minimal 0.2 percent year-over-year. While domestic container volume was the highlight of the quarter, international volume posted a modest 0.9 percent increase, with the Northwest and Western Canada regions recording impressive growth during Q3 of 13.8 percent and 9.1 percent respectively.

Third Quarter 2012 Intermodal Volume Comparisons

Equipment Type 2011 2012 Change
Trailers 424,987 379,673 -10.7%
Domestic Containers 1,266,856 1,409,527 +11.3%
All Domestic Equipment 1,691,843 1,789,200 +5.8%
ISO Containers  1,960,667 1,978,955 +0.9%
TOTAL 3,652,510 3,768,155 +3.2%

The largest overall cause of modest international intermodal volume increases continues to be weak port volume, as many shippers have been unwilling to bring in substantial inven­tories. Strong domestic container gains have kept overall intermodal volume growth positive, and an anticipated rebound in imports should deliver higher levels of overall intermodal performance in the coming months.

Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics is published quarterly by IANA and is available on a subscription and individual copy basis. Members of the working press may request a copy of the Q3 2012 Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics report from Matt Mlynarczyk at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 703-623-2929. The report features detailed analyses and reproducible graphical representations of Q3 2012 results.

Enter email address to receive news:

You'll receive a confirmation email from FeedBurner to activate your subscription.

Find 3PLs in USA

Need warehousing or order fulfillment in the US? Get quotes from top American 3PLs

Find 3PLs in China

Contact us to help you find reliable warehousing and distribution providers in China.

View the latest trends and updates on trade in the United States. Read about increase demand in products, trade statistics for your industry, fun facts about U.S. trade, and the new updates from Zepol.
  • Big Changes in Oil Imports 2015 | Infographic
    It's a shocker is how drastic the further decline of petroleum imports has been in 2015. U.S. oil imports have declined by 45 percent this year. Total barrels imported of crude oil also dropped by over 55 million in 2015.
  • California Drought Impacts Almond Import Prices
    The California drought has caused international almond exporters from mainly Australia, Spain, and Italy to jack up prices. Zepols data shows that the average price per kilogram of has exploded in the last year. In the first quarter of 2014, U.S. almond imports were $3.91 per kilogram. Now in the first quarter of 2015, the average price per kilogram has reached $11.44, nearly triple the cost.
  • Zepol Publishes its Annual 2014 U.S. Port Report
    Zepol has published its '2014 U.S. Port Report.' Every page provides detailed import information for the top 20 U.S. ocean ports and compares statistics from 2013 to 2014. Additionally, this year the report contains a professional analysis of the data from the trade publication, and report sponsor, Port Technology International. Readers can monitor trade lanes as well as competition, view the flow of imported goods, discover import opportunities, and even make predictions for trade in 2015.
  • What’s an HS or HTS Code?
    An HS code or HTS code stands for Harmonized System or Harmonized Tariff Schedule. The codes are used to classify and define internationally traded goods. The difference between an HS code and HTS code is the number of digits within the code. A code with six digits is a universal standard (HS Code) and a code with 7-10 digits (HTS Code) is often unique after the 6th digit and determined by individual countries. These codes are important because they not only determine the tariff/duty rate of the traded product.
  • U.S. Imports Impacted by West-Coast Port Issues
    Total US container imports are down over 5 percent so far in 2015. Nearly the entire decline in imports was attributed to West Coast ports. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which make up a combined 40 percent of U.S. container imports, declined by 19 and 20 percent so far in 2015. Though East Coast ports have reaped the benefit, especially the port of New York/Newark, which increased container imports by 8 percent this year.