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Intermodal growth surge continues into 2Q

With domestic trailers once again leading the surge, strong intermodal growth continued throughout second quarter 2004, accounting for the ninth continuous quarter of intermodal growth, according to Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics, a quarterly publication of the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).

Intermodal growth increased from 7.1% in first quarter 2004 to 8.5% in 2Q. In the past three quarters, intermodal growth increases averaged 8.1%, accounting for the three strongest consecutive quarters of intermodal growth since IANA began collecting intermodal statistical data in 1996.

Trailers led 2Q volume leaders with a 12.1% rise, followed by a strong increase in international volume of 8.3%, up sharply from its 5.7% rise in 1Q. Though international volume may have been second-place among volume increases, it posted the largest absolute gain among major equipment categories, posting 130,000 more loadings than 2003's 2Q results.

While total domestic intermodal volume posted a record gain for the second consecutive quarter at 8.8%, domestic container volume slowed slightly, rising 6.2% after its 7.0% increase in 1Q.Domestic volume has now grown in eight of the past nine quarters. But despite recent domestic gains, international containers still carried the majority of intermodal freight — 55% of 2Q loadings.

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