By Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief
Don’t expect trailer-on-flatcar to go away anytime soon, but expect it to increasingly be via 53-foot trailers.
In FTR’s “State of Freight” webinar Thursday, senior consultant Larry Gross noted that 48-footers, once the backbone of the intermodal system, are disappearing, down 20% year over year. 53-foot volume, however, is still running a double-digit improvement year over year.
“53-foot trailers are a major conduit by which new trucklines get into using rail intermodal. They don’t have the containers; they like to put their trailers on the flatcar.”
And while a few innovative programs have started putting temperature-controlled containers on the rails, Gross said reefer trailers on flatcars are still the far more common choice for perishable intermodal loads.
For intermodal overall, Gross predicts we’ll end up at 4.8% growth for 2011, will see roughly the same in 2012 at 4.9%, then increase in 2013 to 5.6% growth. Domestic moves are growing at a higher rate, around 7%, than international containers, which are pulling down overall intermodal growth with 2.7% growth forecast for this year and next.
Intermodal: Related News
12/9/2011 – TOFC still going strong
Don’t expect trailer-on-flatcar to go away anytime soon, but expect it to increasingly be via 53-foot trailers….
12/5/2011 – Georgia DOT Awards Contract for Port of Savannah Connector
The Port of Savannah’s long-anticipated Jimmy Deloach Parkway Connector, linking the Port directly to Interstate 95, got a big boost last week with the awarding of a $73 million contract for its construction….
11/29/2011 – Occupy Movement Targets West Coast Ports
The Occupy movement says it will sponsor demonstrations at several coastal port facilities, with the intention being to shut down all of the major gateways….
11/18/2011 – U.S. Containerized Exports Climb for 8th Consecutive Quarter
Strong demand for agricultural products in Asia drove U.S. containerized exports up by 6.7% in the third quarter. Total U.S. containerized export volume is up 8.3% through the first nine months of 2011….
11/10/2011 – ABF Launches Global Expedited LCL/LTL
ABF has expanded its global offerings to include Ocean LTL, a single-contact, expedited less-than-container-load/less-than-truckload supply chain solution for customers who import from manufacturing centers in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan….
11/9/2011 – Intermodal Volume Posts Year-over-Year Gains for Seventh-Straight Quarter
Domestic container volume posted its strongest growth of the year in Q3 2011, according to IANA’sIntermodal Market Trends Statistics report released today….
11/9/2011 – Retail Container Traffic Expected to Decline in November
With most holiday season merchandise already on its way to store shelves, import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports has started to decline for the fall….
11/8/2011 – Ports of L.A. and L. B. to Ban 2006 and Older Trucks, Discontinue Clean Truck Fee
Beginning January 1, 2012 trucks with an engine year of 2006 and older will be banned from both the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach….
11/1/2011 – September U.S. Containerized Imports Fall 6% from August
U.S. containerized import volume fell 6 percent in September from the month before as retailers restrain inventories. Even a surge in auto parts shipments was not enough to offset growing retailer pessimism about consumer demand….
10/31/2011 – ATA Moving Forward on Appeal on LA Port Concessions
While the American Trucking Associations won a court victory striking down the controversial owner-operator ban portion of the Port of Los Angeles’ Clean Truck Program, the association has decided to move forward on an appeal to the Supreme Court on other provisions which an appeals court upheld….