The intermodal freight sector weathered a “challenging” year in 2022, closing out its fourth quarter of 2022 with a report that total intermodal volume fell 3.6% compared to that period the year before, according to the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).
Also in the fourth quarter, domestic containers and trailers dropped 4.2% and 29.7% respectively, while international containers managed 0.9% growth. Total volume for all of 2022 showed a 3.9% decline, IANA said in its Intermodal Quarterly report.
The report is the latest measure to show that the nation’s freight transportation operators saw declining numbers in 2022, including the transportation analyst firm FTR’s report on the GDP Goods Transport Sector (GTS) and the analysis firm ACT Research’s finding that freight trucking rates continued to decline in December according to its For-Hire Trucking Index.
“The past year presented challenges for intermodal. All four quarters posted negative output,” Joni Casey, president and CEO of IANA, said in a release. “The industry continues to address equipment availability, facility capacity, and service with the goal of turning things around in 2023.”
Broken into geographical regions, all but one of the seven highest-density trade corridors, which collectively handled more than 60% of total volume, were down in the fourth quarter, IANA said. The Trans-Canada corridor, with a 7.0% gain, was the exception. The Southeast-Southwest, dropped by 14.2%, followed by the South Central-Southwest which lost 6.7%. The Northeast-Midwest, Intra-Southeast and Midwest-Southwest were off by 4.9%, 3.3% and 3.1% respectively. And the Midwest-Northwest held losses to 2.6%.
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