The fall of 2006 has been the busiest intermodal season in history for U.S. railroads, according to a study by the Assn. of American Railroads (AAR). This was bolstered in part by holiday season freight from national retailers.
During October, an intermodal container or trailer was loaded onto a train every 2.4 seconds, making it the busiest month in history for rail intermodal, said Edward Hamberger, AAR’s president & CEO.
Intermodal is the movement of goods in large containers seamlessly from cargo ships to freight trains to trucks. Anthony Hatch, a Wall Street transportation analyst, noted that intermodal is the fastest-growing segment of the freight rail business and should continue to grow rapidly because of its ability to link American businesses with Asian and European businesses.
“It is the single most important ingredient in the global economy,” said Hatch. “Right now, America’s trade is growing at about twice the rate of the GDP. And that’s largely due to the fact that freight railroads are moving more freight than ever before, at rates that are, on average, less than they were 25 years ago.”