Rail intermodal traffic out-performs 2001 economy

Rail intermodal traffic reported to the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) for 2001 out-performed the economy as a whole, coming within one percent of year 2000 total volume, according to the association. IANA released its year-end and fourth-quarter data as part of its Rail Intermodal Traffic Report. The report notes that for the full year 2001, domestic containers and ISO containers made gains of 5.2 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

For the fourth quarter, overall rail intermodal traffic was down 1.8 percent compared to the same period last year. Most of the quarterly decline was in total domestic equipment, down three percent compared with the same period in 2000. ISO containers also experienced a decline of 0.7 percent due to foreign trade conditions. On the positive side, domestic container traffic remained strong, increasing 6.3 percent.

Container traffic in October was up five percent compared to the same month in 2000, in November it was up one percent, while in December there was a slight decline.

The quarterly report highlights several key intermodal corridors that carried a minimum of 100,000 units, which showed mostly positive results compared to the fourth quarter of 2000.

For the fourth quarter, the South Central and Southwest corridor grew 4.9 percent on the strength of container traffic in both directions while the Northeast and Midwest corridor also grew by 1.6 percent, due to container traffic increases in both directions. After declining the three previous quarters, the Midwest-Northwest corridor recovered as container traffic was up 12.2 percent in both directions, strengthening overall corridor performance by 6.0 percent. The report also details regional traffic analysis, railroad service and capacity, and the intermodal outlook for the near future. Also included is a brief analysis on trucking, the domestic economy, and foreign trade and the effects on the intermodal industry.

For further information call Tom Malloy at 301-982-3400, extension 28, or visit www.intermodal.org/IndReports.html.

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