Intermodal freight volumes rose 1 percent during the fourth quarter of 2016 when compared with the same period in 2015, the Intermodal Association of North America said.
IANA said in a news release that there were 4.35 million shipments during the fourth quarter, an improvement that occurred “despite an ongoing freight recession that permeated the transportation industry and resulted in lower intermodal volumes during the second and third quarters.”
Shipment declines during the second and fourth quarters resulted in a 2.1 percent decline in intermodal volumes in 2016 when compared with 2015. The total of 17.1 million shipments was the first full-year decline since 2008.
Domestic containers posted a 3.4 percent increase in the quarter. International shipments rose 0.6 percent. Declines continued in the trailer segment, which were down 9.2 percent in the quarter.
The seven highest-density trade corridors — which account for 63.3 percent of total intermodal volume — rose a collective 1.8 percent during the fourth quarter.
The Midwest-Northwest and Northeast-Midwest lanes saw the largest fourth quarter increases at 4.3 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively. Midwest-Southwest volumes, which were the highest, grew 1.4 percent. The South Central-Southwest lane, the only major lane to post a decline, fell 4.4 percent on container losses.