Total intermodal volumes advanced 6.2% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2018, after posting 7.2% growth in the first quarter, according to the Intermodal Association of North America’s Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics report.
Strong economic growth, the worsening shortage of truck drivers and productivity losses stemming from the adoption of Electronic Logging Devices all pushed trucking prices higher.
International intermodal volumes increased 4.8%, domestic containers 6.1%, and piggyback trailers led overall growth at 18.1%.
“Continued intermodal volume growth was driven by the domestic during the second quarter. Higher fuel prices, tight over-the-road capacity and a strong economic performance were factors attributed to this advance,” said IANA President Joni Casey.
The seven highest-density trade corridors accounted for 63.2% of total volumes and were collectively up 6.6%., the association reported. The Northeast-Midwest again performed the best of the seven regions, with volumes there gaining 12.8%.
The South Central-Southwest, intra-Southeast and Midwest-Northwest lanes had growth of 8.4%, 7.1% and 6.2%, respectively, while the trans-Canada and Midwest-Southwest came in at 4.4% and 4.2%. The Southeast-Southwest eked out only 0.8% growth.
Intermodal Marketing Companies – the third-party providers responsible for most intermodal sales – enjoyed a strong quarter consistent with previous quarters, with total loads rising 10.6%, mostly on highway gains. In the first quarter, IMCs posted 10.8%. IMC revenue grew by 28.6% compared to the 27.1% growth in the first quarter.