IANA Sees North American Intermodal Volumes Booming

May 3, 2021

Total intermodal volumes rose 10.5 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2021, according to the Intermodal Association of North America’s Intermodal Quarterly report. International containers gained 14.8 percent from 2020; domestic shipments, 4.4 percent; and trailers, 20.0 percent.

“Intermodal volumes were up for the third consecutive quarter through Q1. This growth is projected to continue through the remainder of the year,” said Joni Casey, president and CEO of IANA. “Even considering weak comparisons that supported the other segments, domestic intermodal posted solid 4.4 percent gains.”

The seven highest-density trade corridors, which collectively handled more than 60 percent of total volume, were all up in the first quarter. Three were up double digits: Trans-Canada, 26.4 percent; Midwest-Southwest,15.7 percent; and the South Central-Southwest,15.6 percent. The Southeast-Southwest grew 8.9 percent; the Midwest-Northwest was up 8.3 percent; and the Intra-Southeast posted a 7.5 percent increase. The Northeast-Midwest came in at 5.0 percent.

Total IMC volume rose 10.2 percent year-over-year in Q1, with intermodal and highway loads up 1.5 percent and 16.1 percent, respectively.

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