Containers up/trailers down

The Intermodal Assn. of North America (IANA) has released its Q1 numbers for container and trailer volumes

The Intermodal Assn. of North America (IANA) has released its Q1 numbers for container and trailer volumes. Domestic container volumes were the bright spot in the report, showing a gain of .1% in Q1 of 2009 as compared to Q1 of 2008—marking an increase IANA called “impressive,” given the current economic climate.

Ffity-three ft containers continued to show even stronger gains, posting a 4.6% increase in the same period. According to IANA, some of the strength in the 53-ft container sector may be due to a shift toward “transloading” of international freight-- where freight must be transferred from one mode of transportation to another during shipment.

Domestic trailer volume, on the other hand, continued to slide, showing a 20.6% drop in Q1 as compared to Q1 of 2008. International volume also declined overall, plunging 22.7% during the first quarter – with declines reported in every IANA region. The Western Canada region saw the smallest international decline of 11.2%, while the Northwest region saw a substantial 32.9% drop in volume – the largest during the quarter.

While the small increase in domestic container volume during the quarter was encouraging, noted IANA, it could not compensate for plummeting international and trailer volumes. The end-result for Q1 was a total intermodal volume decline of 16.3%, the largest quarterly drop recorded by the association.

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