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US intermodal volume posts gain in 2008

Domestic intermodal volume posted a solid 2.9% overall gain in 2008, according to the a recent Intermodal Market Trends and Statistics, an intermodal volume data report published by the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).

Although overall volumes declined slightly by 2.1% in the fourth quarter, domestic container performance remained healthy through the end of 2008. While its overall growth slowed to 4.4%--less than a half of Q3’s gain--growth in 53-foot containers was an excep¬tionally strong 10% for the quarter.

International intermodal volume declined in every IANA region during Q4 2008--dropping a total of 11.1% and con¬tinuing its steady decline for the seventh consecutive quarter. This quarterly loss contributed to the largest year-over-year drop of intermodal loadings (7%) since IANA began keeping quar¬terly records in 1998. International containers had been the main driver of intermodal growth prior to 2007 amid soaring growth in container imports, based upon strong consumer demand, the association said.

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