Intermodal freight volumes for North America rose 10.5% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to that period last year, showing their third consecutive quarter of growth and their largest year-over-year increase since 2013 as the economy continues to rebound from pandemic restrictions, an industry report shows.
The recent increase was led by a 14.8% rise in international container volume, 4.4% for domestic shipments, and 20% for trailers, according to the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA)’s Intermodal Quarterly report.
“Intermodal volumes were up for the third consecutive quarter through Q1. This growth is projected to continue through the remainder of the year,” Joni Casey, president and CEO of IANA, said in a release. “Even considering weak comparisons that supported the other segments, domestic intermodal posted solid 4.4% gains.”
Looking into the details of the data, the seven highest-density trade corridors, which collectively handled more than 60 percent of total volume, were all up in the first quarter, IANA said. Three were up double digits, incuding trans-Canada at 26.4%, midwest-southwest at 15.7%, and south central-southwest at 15.6%. Growth in other regions included: southeast-southwest at 8.9%, midwest-northwest at 8.3%, intra-southeast at 7.5%, and northeast-midwest at 5.0%.