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INTERMODAL MARKET TRENDS

& STATISTICS REPORT


2018 Fourth Quarter and Year-End Report
Year-End Top Stories
yy International loads hit a new record high in 2018 at 9.6 mil-
yy Intermodal volumes increased 5.6% in 2018. This was the
lion. An increase in container import volumes is primarily
strongest growth in five years. Not only were gains sub-
responsible for the 5.4% gain in the U.S.
stantial, they were also broad based. All markets recorded
an increase of at least 4.9% or greater and all regions saw yy Canadian intermodal volumes advanced 3.5% in 2018.
traffic climb. International traffic kept its momentum in 2018, rising 6.0%,
but domestic containers were flat from the previous year
yy Trailers recorded the largest increase of any segment, ris-
and trailers recorded large losses.
ing 10.6% over the year.
yy Intermodal volumes rose just 3.1% in Mexico. Both domes-
yy Domestic volumes started the year on an exceptionally
tic containers and international loads increased 3.4%, while
strong note, increasing 6.1% over the first half of the year.
trailers logged deep declines. Shipments from Mexico to the
Second half gains were more modest at 3.7%. Tight truck-
U.S. and Canada were particularly weak, rising just 1.0%.
ing capacity might explain why domestic containers did so
much better earlier in 2018.

Intermodal Growth by Market by Quarter


20%
18%
16%
14%
Yr/Yr % Change

12%
10%
8%
6%
4%
2%
0%
-2% Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

International Domestic Containers Trailers


INTERMODAL GAINS 5.6% IN 2018
Trailers fall for the first time since Q4 2016

Fourth Quarter 2018 Rail Volume Fourth Quarter Totals


Results
2017 2018 Change
Intermodal rose 4.2% in Q4, just Trailers 372,587 372,185 -0.1%
below the 4.7% pace recorded in Q3, but
there were wide variations by segment. Domestic Containers 1,946,313 2,012,888 3.4%
International performed very well in Q4, All Domestic Equipment 2,318,900 2,385,073 2.9%
gaining 5.5%, but domestic containers
ISO Containers 2,288,756 2,414,641 5.5%
advanced just 3.4% and trailers declined
0.1%. In October, intermodal volumes Total 4,607,656 4,799,714 4.2%
were up 6.1% from the previous year,
but by December gains were at just
2.7%. International growth was fairly
consistent across Q4, but domestic 2018 vs. 2017 Year-End Totals
growth weakened over the quarter.
2017 2018 Change
Although trailers declined in Q4, the
Trailers 1,306,282 1,444,571 10.6%
decline was small and expected. In
June, the Canadian Pacific discontinued Domestic Containers 7,561,472 7,928,304 4.9%
its Expressway service. While All Domestic Equipment 8,867,754 9,372,875 5.7%
Expressway volumes were always fairly
small, ceasing the service still had an ISO Containers 9,067,555 9,558,448 5.4%
impact on overall trailer growth. Were Total 17,935,309 18,931,323 5.6%
it not for the loss of this service, trailer
volumes would have logged a small
gain. The discontinuation will be a drag
on trailers until June of 2019 when the
year-over-year comparisons ease.
Fourth Quarter Equipment Loading Trends
Even without the end of the 4Q 17-18 4Q 18
Equipment Size/Type 4Q17 4Q18
Expressway service, trailers were Growth Share
expected to slow. Before Q4 of this year, 28' Trailers/Containers 68,834 71,226 3.5% 1.5%
trailer growth had been exceptional.
40/45' Trailers 26,822 23,061 -14.0% 0.5%
Between Q4 of 2017 and Q3 of 2018,
trailers posted gains in excess of 10.0%. 48/53' Trailers 276,979 277,935 0.3% 5.8%
Because growth had been so strong, 20/40/45' Containers 2,288,756 2,414,641 5.5% 50.3%
it was anticipated that trailer gains
would eventually have to subside. This 48/53' Containers 1,946,265 2,012,851 3.4% 41.9%
trend was particularly stark through Total 4,607,656 4,799,714 4.2% 100.0%
Q4. In October, trailer shipments were
4.1% above year-ago levels, but by
December they were 5.5% below. U.S.
trailer loads did a bit better, but with compared to expectations. Domestic capacity was very tight through June
the same downward trend. In October, containers rose 3.4% in Q4, just below 2018.
these shipments gained 8.0%, but in Q3’s 3.9% gain, but well below the
December they fell by 0.9%. Another factor influencing domestic
6.1% during the first half of the year. container traffic is energy prices. Energy
In contrast to trailers, domestic The slowdown in domestic container prices fell sharply in Q4. Crude oil prices
container volumes underperformed growth was fairly broad-based. Trucking slipped 15.3% from Q3 to Q4, and diesel

2 Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019
prices declined from November to Fourth Quarter 2017–2018 Equipment Trends
December. The impact of fuel prices on
domestic container volumes however, is
unclear: in 2015, when diesel prices fell Thousand Units 0 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 10,000 12,000
by over 25%, domestic containers still
posted a 4.6% gain. 28' Trailers/Containers

Another drag on the overall 2017 2018


performance of domestic containers 40/45' Trailers
is Canada. In both 2016 and 2017,
Canadian domestic container growth
48/53' Trailers
was very strong at 6.9% and 6.6%,
respectively. However this growth rate
may have been unsustainable and 48/53' Containers
Canadian domestic container shipments
began to give up some of their volume in 20/40/45' Containers
the second half of 2018. In Q4, Canadian
domestic container volumes were down
1.8%. The decline in Q4 only slightly
pulled down overall domestic container
growth, but that is still a big switch from
last year when Canada was responsible
Fourth Quarter 2017–2018 Comparisons
for almost 20% of domestic container
gains.
ALL DOMESTIC EQUIPMENT ISO CONTAINERS
International shipments advanced Units

5.5% in Q4. This increase came on top of 9,800,000


a 7.7% gain in Q4 of 2017. An increase
in container import volumes is the main 9,600,000
driver of international’s improvement,
with gains concentrated in four regions: 9,400,000
the Northwest, Western Canada, the 9,200,000
Southeast and the Midwest. Shipments
from the Northwest to the Midwest 9,000,000
and from Western Canada to the
Midwest were particularly strong, which 8,800,000
may have necessitated the return of 8,600,000
containers, contributing to the Midwest’s
performance in Q4. 8,400,000
Although the international market did 2017 2018
well overall, there were some regions
where it underperformed. In Eastern
Canada, international loads actually
fell 1.6% and in Mexico they slipped by 0.3%. The small Southeast or the Midwest, so it is noteworthy that
improvement of 0.6% in Q4 Southwest international is a turn growth to the other regions was strong enough to cancel
around from the 5.7% decrease in Q3. There were two key out the declines to those two regions.
Southwest trends in Q4. Shipments from the Southwest to
the Midwest and the Southeast were down, but shipments
to all other regions were up by more than 10%. Over 50%
of Southwest international shipments are destined to the

Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019 3
Seasonally Adjusted Intermodal Volume
Seasonal adjustment removes the normal
seasonal variations in the data to focus Seasonally Adjusted Volume Trends
on underlying quarter-to-quarter growth
trends. SA INTERNATIONAL INTERNATIONAL SA DOMESTIC DOMESTIC

On a seasonally adjusted basis,


international volumes jumped 3.2% 2,600,000
from Q3 to Q4. This is a very strong 2,500,000
growth rate that underscores how 2,400,000
well international performed in Q4. In
2,300,000
contrast, seasonally adjusted domestic
2,200,000
moves fell from Q3 to Q4 and also
2,100,000
declined from the previous quarter in
Q3. As a result, Q4 seasonally adjusted 2,000,000
domestic volumes were the lowest 1,900,000
out of all four quarters in 2018. The 1,800,000
increase in international traffic was 1,700,000
large enough to cancel out the decline 15Q3

15Q4

16Q1

16Q2

16Q3

16Q4

17Q1

17Q2

17Q3

17Q4

18Q1

18Q2

18Q3

18Q4
in domestic loads. Total seasonally
adjusted intermodal volumes rose 1.3%
from Q3 to Q4.

Key Corridor Results


The Corridor Growth graph, based on data in the chart on page 18, shows bi-directional activity for the seven largest volume
corridors. These high density lanes handled 62.6% of total volume and were up 5.1% in the quarter. All recorded an increase in
volumes. However, performance still varied widely with the Midwest-Northwest corridor rising 13.1%, while the
Trans-Canada corridor increased just 0.9%.

yy The Midwest-Northwest corridor Fourth Quarter 2017–2018 Corridor Growth


gained 13.1% in Q4. There was almost
a 25.0% increase in international loads Units 0 150,000 300,000 450,000 600,000 750,000 900,000
based on a sharp increase in container
imports through Northwest ports. MW-SW 1.0%
Trailers also did well in this corridor,
rising 18.2%, but domestic containers NE-MW 5.7%
actually fell by 1.9%.
SC-SW 9.7%
yy The South Central-Southwest lane
also did very well in Q4, advancing EC-WC 0.9%
9.7%. Every intermodal segment
4Q17 4Q18
outperformed the industry average in SE-SE 9.4%
this lane, but the lane was somewhat
unbalanced. Eastbound shipments ad- MW-NW 13.1%
vanced at twice the rate of westbound
shipments. SE-SW 3.2%

yy Intra-Southeast volumes rose 9.4%


in Q4, but performance varied widely
by segment. International volumes
climbed 13.9%, but overall domestic moves were weak in this lane, gaining just 0.5%. International dominates in this lane, so
the poor performance of domestic had a relatively small impact on overall lane performance.

4 Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019
Key Corridor Growth

WC-MW
16.8%

NW-MW
13.9%

NE-MW
9.4%

SW-SC
12.6% SE-SE
9.4%

The map above depicts the five single-direction lanes within the key corridors that contributed the most to total growth in
2018Q4. For example, if freight in all other lanes besides the Southwest-South Central lane stayed flat from Q4 of 2017 to Q4
of 2018, total volume still would have risen 0.6%. This is because volumes in that lane gained 12.6% and in Q4 and 5.0% of
loads originated in that lane. The lanes in the chart above are not necessarily those where intermodal growth was the greatest,
but rather lanes where overall growth was substantial and where the lane was large enough to have a real impact on overall
volumes.

yy Domestic container increases were 9.8% in the Northeast- yy Trans-Canada traffic was sluggish, rising just 0.9% in Q4.
Midwest lane, well above the industry average of 3.4%. The weakness was broad based with domestic containers
International gains were just 2.3%, resulting in a 5.7% overall increasing just 1.2% and international gaining 0.8%. East-
gain for the corridor. bound shipments did slightly better than westbound ship-
ments in this lane.
yy The domestic container market also did well in the South-
east-Southwest corridor with a 7.0% increase. In contrast, Intermodal Outlook
international shipments fell 3.9%. This corridor has a much
larger share of domestic containers than most other cor- Intermodal growth likely will continue in 2019, but a bit slower
ridors and so the impact of the poor performance of interna- than 2018’s 5.6% gain. There is some risk from potential trade
tional was muted. wars, an extended government shutdown and a significantly
yy The international segment did poorly in the Southwest- tight labor market. Also, trucking capacity is expected not to
Midwest lane, falling 2.3% in Q4. Domestic did better gaining be as tight in 2018, a major factor for intermodal growth. Still,
4.1%. The two segments nearly cancelled each other out, the intermodal market has risen close to 5% per year since the
resulting in a 1.0% overall gain for the lane. 2016 freight recession.

Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019 5
One key factor in 2019 is uncertainty for ocean carriers will jump up as Intermodal Long-Term Trends
about the trailer segment. While it regulations change. Rising interest rates
This section explains the charts
achieved double-digit growth in 2018, could also have a negative impact on
that describe key long-term trends in
it was flat year-over-year in Q4. And the all-water share. If these changes happen,
intermodal volume. These charts have
absolute volume also was flat for most U.S. growth could increase for both
been a continuing feature of Intermodal
of 2018 after surging in late 2017. Trailer international and imports transloaded to
Market Trends and Statistics for several
loads are expected to grow slightly in big boxes.
years now. With each report, these trends
2019, though this segment is far more Overall, North American intermodal are updated by tracking the trailing 12
unpredictable than any other. volumes are projected to rise 3-4% in months — e.g. the 12 months ending in
International is also more 2019. However, as noted above, there December of 2018, and so forth.
unpredictable given the potential impacts are many variables that might have a
The first chart shows volume for key
of tariffs on Chinese imports. That could significant impact on this market.
lane groupings: transcon Eastbound,
turn international volume down for a
while, though it is likely that if those
tariffs are implemented, production
will shift from China to other overseas
countries rather than back to the U.S., Annual Volume by Key Lanes
keeping international strong in the long- EAST-WEST NORTH-SOUTH TRANSCON EASTBOUND TRANSCON WESTBOUND
term. For 2019, if a trade war does not
occur, international likely will rise 2-3%. 2.0
INDEX: YEAR ENDING Q4 2002=1

Domestic containers, on the other 1.8


hand, are likely to grow 5% in 2019, 1.6
similar to last year. This segment has 1.4
been positive throughout this century,
1.2
even in the Great Recession (or the
freight recession). If trucking capacity 1.0

increases, other factors will help push 0.8


DC loads higher. One key factor is 0.6
growth of the big box fleet. The total
0.4
North American fleet is expected to
2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018
climb more than 30,000 this year, a 6%
increase. Unlike international or trailers,
fleet size is very important to the outlook
for domestic containers.
Average Length of Haul
Regionally, Canada likely will see
slower growth in 2019 as the Canadian TOTAL INTERNATIONAL DOMESTIC
railroads have exited the trailer market.
But they could offset that by gaining 1,700

share of U.S. imports that move through 1,650


AVEG. LENGTH OF HAUL (MILES)

Canadian ports. Mexico also will see 1,600


slower growth than the U.S., continuing
1,550
their recent trend. Overall the U.S. is
1,500
expected to grow a bit slower than in
2018, though about twice the pace of 1,450

Canada and Mexico. 1,400

In addition to the potential trade war 1,350


effects noted above, another potential 1,300
impact is if the all-water share of
2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

imports from East Asia falls back in


2019, or especially 2020 as fuel costs

6 Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019
transcon Westbound, North-South and IMC Loads 2017–2018: 15 mos.
East-West. It is also indexed to the
first quarter in the period. The transcon INTERMODAL LOADS HIGHWAY LOADS
lanes are defined by movement between
240,000
coastal regions — the Northeast, 230,000
Southeast and Eastern Canada on 220,000
210,000
the east coast and the Northwest, 200,000
Southwest and Western Canada on the 190,000
180,000
west coast. The North-South and East- 170,000
West lanes encompass freight in both 160,000
directions, excluding the transcon lanes. 150,000
140,000
All lanes recorded an increase in Q4. The 130,000
Transcon-Eastbound and North-South 120,000
110,000
lanes recorded only small increases 100,000
from the previous year. The transcon- 90,000
Westbound lane did a bit better, rising Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2.9% in Q4. It was the East-West lane
that logged the largest gains, rising 5.9%
in Q4.
The second chart highlights length IMC Market Trends — 4th Qtr. 2018 vs. 2017
of haul as estimated from the IANA
Pct.
Market Trends and Statistics data using 4th Quarter 2017 4th Quarter 2018
Change
key points in each region — e.g. Los
Angeles in the Southwest, Atlanta in Intermodal Loads 434,206 453,911 4.5%
the Southeast. Length of haul seems Highway Loads 667,923 626,075 -6.3%
to have started to decline again over
the past year. This is a return to longer- Total Loads 1,102,129 1,079,986 -2.0%
term trends. From 2006 to 2016, overall Intermodal Revenue $ 1,248,974,303 $ 1,455,381,316 16.5%
length of haul trended downward. In
Highway Revenue $ 1,176,260,459 $ 1,093,408,142 -7.0%
2015, domestic length of haul started to
trend upward and in 2017 international Total Revenue $ 2,425,234,762 $ 2,548,789,458 5.1%
length of haul flattened out, but the Average per Intermodal Load $ 2,876 $ 3,206 11.5%
most recent readings suggest that
those gains are starting to be reversed. Average per Highway Load $ 1,761 $ 1,746 -0.8%

Fourth Quarter 2018 IMC


Results IMC Market Trends — YTD 2018 vs. 2017
Intermodal Marketing Company Pct.
results reflect volume and revenue YTD 2017 YTD 2018
Change
data reported by participating IMCs
Intermodal Loads 1,720,146 1,784,763 3.8%
(page 19). IMC rail traffic volumes are
included in data reported by the major Highway Loads 2,372,401 2,541,419 7.1%
rail systems.
Total Loads 4,092,547 4,326,408 5.7%
Following rising growth in the first
Intermodal Revenue $ 4,612,005,918 $ 5,366,207,678 16.4%
half of 2018, and solid growth in Q3,
IMC volumes fell in Q4 for the first time Highway Revenue $ 3,698,505,926 $ 4,603,568,146 24.5%
since Q1 of 2017. This resulted from a
Total Revenue $ 8,310,511,843 $ 9,970,136,146 20.0%
sharp 6.3% drop in highway loads. Much
was offset by solid growth in intermodal Average per Intermodal Load $ 2,681 $ 3,007 12.1%
loads of 4.5%. That was significantly Average per Highway Load $ 1,559 $ 1,811 16.2%

Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019 7
stronger than total domestic intermodal Trucking Industry Outlook followed by short-haul at 3.8% and
growth of 2.9%. Despite the drop in medium-haul at 3.3%. As with Q4, super
Truckload volume rose 3.4% year over
loadings, revenue rose 5.1% in Q4, with long-haul saw the weakest growth in
year in 2018 Q4. The strongest year-
intermodal revenue seeing double-digit 2018 at 2.3%. Refrigerated and dry van
over-year growth in Q4 was in regional
growth. growth mirrored Q4 with increases of
moves (300 to 549 miles) at 4.7%. Next
Intermodal loadings topped 5% in 3.6% and 3.3%, respectively. However,
was medium-haul (125 to 299 miles) at
October and November, then grew the performance of all other trailer types
3.2%. Lagging far behind were short-haul
half as fast in December. October was was much stronger for the full year than
(less than 125 miles) and super long-haul
also the highest volume in 2018, more in Q4, surging 4.6%. Flatbed loadings
(550 and more miles) at 1.6% and 1.5%,
than 166,000. That is most often the were especially strong year over year in
respectively. Super long-haul continues
peak month of each year. Volume then the first half of the year.
to face challenging comparisons to
fell close to 30,000 from October to 2017, partially due to the implementation Although active truck utilization
December. Again a typical pattern as of electronic logging devices very late technically dipped below 100% in late Q3,
volume always falls sharply at the end of in 2017 Q4. Those comparisons likely seated trucks remained essentially fully
December. will continue through 2019 Q1 as the utilized through Q4 with utilization at 99%
Highway loads also were largest ELD mandate was not strictly enforced in December. However, the spot market
in October, but didn’t drop as much until April 2018. Refrigerated loadings remained considerably softer in Q4 than
in December. All three months were grew 3.6% year over year in Q4, slightly it was in Q1 or Q2.
below the previous year after double- outpacing dry van loadings at 3.3%. Truckstop.com’s Market Demand Index
digit growth the first half of 2018. This Loadings for all other trailer types were — a ratio of loads available to trucks
likely reflected less tightness in trucking up 3.4%. available — hit an all-time high during
capacity at the end of 2018. For all of 2018, truck loadings were June before softening, but the cooling
Highway revenue per load was off up 3.9%. Regional hauls were up 4.9%, resulted from a decline in spot freight,
slightly for Q4, but dropped sharply in
December. Revenue was just shy of
$2,000 per load most of the second half Tractor/Trailer Loads Orig. — 4th Qtr. 2018 vs. 2017
of 2018, but fell in December to under
$1,400, the first time since early 2017. Actual 4th Quarter 4th Quarter Pct.
Intermodal revenue per load grew Length-of-Haul 2017 2018 Change
16.5% in Q4, topping $3,400 in November <125 Miles 26,194,332 26,603,198 1.6%
and December for the first time. Revenue
was up 18.4% from last December, 125-299 Miles 35,682,431 36,835,694 3.2%
and 14.8% from October of this year. 300-549 Miles 67,335,745 70,530,015 4.7%
Weakening volumes in December might
550+ Miles 22,114,210 22,446,891 1.5%
be the result of price increases rather
than tight capacity. Grand Total 151,326,718 156,415,798 3.4%
Total Q4 IMC revenue was up 5.1%.
Intermodal revenue growth topped
Tractor/Trailer Loads Orig. — 4th Qtr. 2018 vs. 3rd Qtr. 2018
16%, and with higher revenue per load,
rose by double-digits all three months.
Actual 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter Pct.
Highway revenue was down 7%, a result
Length-of-Haul 2018 2018 Change
of the decrease of more than 23% in
December, after solid growth in October <125 Miles 26,813,803 26,603,198 -0.8%
and November. 125-299 Miles 36,406,884 36,835,694 1.2%
Total Q4 revenue of $2.5 billion was 300-549 Miles 69,540,897 70,530,015 1.4%
well over last year, but down slightly from
Q3 when it topped $2.6 billion for the first 550+ Miles 22,707,749 22,446,891 -1.1%
time. Total quarterly volume remained Grand Total 155,469,332 156,415,798 0.6%
over one million loads for all of 2018.
Source for all charts on this page: FTR Transportation Intelligence

8 Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019
not an increase in spot capacity. Softer Heavy-Duty Truck Utilization Rate
spot freight does not mean weakening
of overall freight demand, however. U.S. CLASS 8 TRUCKS — ACTIVE CAPACITY IN USE HISTORICAL AVERAGE
While truck loadings have flattened 100%
somewhat, it’s likely that a bigger issue
was completion of bid packages and 95%
continued adjustments to ELDs.
North American truck orders were 90%
sharply lower in Q4 than the record level
set in Q3, but lead times ensure that
85%
factories will be producing trucks at
elevated levels deep into 2019.
80%
For-hire trucking added 8,200 payroll
jobs in 2018 Q4, fewer than the 12,700
75%
added during Q3, based on preliminary 2014
2014
2014
2014
2014
2014
2015
2015
2015
2015
2015
2015
2016
2016
2016
2016
2016
2016
2017
2017
2017
2017
2017
2017
2018
2018
2018
2018
2018
2018
Bureau of Labor Statistics data. However,
hiring was much stronger than the 5,500
jobs added in 2017 Q4. The industry
added a total of 36,600 jobs during Current Trucking Indicators
2018. The trucking industry is currently
facing much stronger competition from OCT NOV DEC Comments
parcel and local delivery. In December, Class 8 Net Orders (FTR)
that sector — identified as “couriers and Orders start to drop, as
Actual 42,775 27,113 21,079 available 2019 build slots
messengers” by BLS — was the second-
become scarce.
fastest-growing U.S. industry year over Y/Y % Change 20.1% -16.0% -42.8%
year. National Avg. Diesel/Gal (EIA) Oil prices have finally stabilized
Most key economic indicators have Actual $3.365 $3.300 $3.123 near $50/bbl. Pump prices have
stabilized, suggesting less upward further to drop.
Y/Y % Change 20.4% 13.4% 7.4%
pressure on truck loadings, which began
to flatten out in Q3. Core capital goods Driver Labor Availability Index (1992=100)
orders — a key indicator of business Actual 126.1 126.4 126.5
investment — appear to have peaked
M/M % Change 0.3% 0.3% 0.1%
in Q3. Meanwhile, the closely watched
ISM manufacturing index softened Y/Y % Change 0.2% 0.9% 1.0%
considerably in December, although it Source for all charts on this page: FTR Transportation Intelligence
remains in solid expansionary territory.
Housing starts are stuck at a mediocre
annual rate. In isolation, none of these strong freight market in 2019 — just one market could curtail driver hiring and
indicators suggest any downturn in not growing at the rate we have seen keep active truck utilization a bit higher
freight, but the weaker numbers do make recently. than currently forecast.
the freight markets more susceptible to
One area that has yet to show any Although active truck utilization is
the impact of trade tensions and other
softening is the U.S. labor market. trending downward, capacity should
political conflicts. Indeed, although the
In addition to low unemployment, remain tighter than normal at least
U.S. and China ultimately postponed
wages have begun to rise with growth through Q1/Q2 of 2019, creating some
the tariffs that had been planned for
exceeding 3% in December, according to near-term opportunity for intermodal
the beginning of 2019, the threat of
preliminary BLS data. The combination of volumes.
increases apparently led to some pull
solid job creation and rising wages likely
forward of imports that otherwise likely
will keep retail and food sales strong.
would have occurred in 2019 Q1. Even
Meanwhile, a continued tight labor
with these risks there appears to be a

Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019 9
U.S., Canada and Mexico Domestic Economies Certainly many of the indicators that were released show
a very strong economy. Net job gains topped 300,000 in
The government shutdown has severely impeded the release
December and wage growth was up at the end of the year.
of economic data. All the same, expectations are that U.S. GDP
Industrial production also did well at the end of the year,
expanded by 2.7% in Q4. While this is a slightly stronger pace
rising by more than 4.0% in both November and December.
of growth than recorded over the post-recession era, it is most
That said there were some signs in Q4 that investment was
likely not a large enough increase to push 2018 GDP growth
slowing with falling energy prices further dampening the
above 3.0%. Expectations are now that GDP rose 2.9% in 2018,
numbers.
matching the pace set in 2015.
Even though U.S. GDP did not top 3.0% in 2018, it was still
a very robust year for economic growth. Unfortunately, the
picture for 2019 is less bright. Q1 GDP will likely come in at a
Short-Term Trucking Outlook lower level due to the government shutdown.
Certainly income growth will be weak, as
History Forecast
well as other forms of economic activity that
18Q4 19Q1 19Q2 19Q3 19Q4 have also been curtailed. If the shutdown
Active Truck Utilization 99.5% 97.6% 96.2% 94.5% 93.8% reocurrs and continues in the first quarter,
Cl. 8 Tractor/Trailer Loadings Originated growth could be cut by as much has 1.0%.

000s of Loadings 156,416 157,413 158,146 158,841 159,523 Canadian GDP growth slowed to 2.0% in
Q3 of 2018, after gaining 2.9% in Q2. This
% Change, Q/Q 0.6% 0.6% 0.5% 0.4% 0.4%
was mainly due to a 7.8% drop in imports
% Change, Y/Y 3.4% 2.9% 2.7% 2.2% 2.0% and a disappointing 0.9% growth in exports.
Driver Labor Availability Index Additionally, household spending slowed
to half of the growth rate seen in Q2, only
Index (1992=100) 126.3 126.6 126.8 127.0 127.2
reaching 0.3%. GDP growth should stay the
% Change, Q/Q 0.5% 0.2% 0.1% 0.2% 0.2% same for Q4, only reaching a growth rate
% Change, Y/Y 0.9% 0.6% 0.9% 1.0% 0.7% of 2.1%. Canadian GDP is expected to grow
Truck Share of Employment Index 2.2% in 2019.

Index (1992=100) 158.3 157.7 156.5 154.1 152.1 Mexican GDP gained 2.5% in Q3 of 2018.
This is on top of a 1.5% growth rate the year
Driver Labor Hiring Conditions
before and gains of 2.6% in the previous
Green/Yellow/Red Critical Yellow Yellow Yellow Yellow quarter. This strong growth was driven by
2.2% year-over-year growth in agriculture and
a 3.2% increase in the services industry. GDP
growth is expected to continue these trends
Truck Loadings Originated in Q4 and is estimated to reach a growth rate
6%
of 2.2% at the end of the year. For 2019, GDP
is forecasted to see gains of 1.6%.
5%
U.S. and Canadian Container Trade
4%
U.S. container imports did very well in
Yr/Yr % Change

3% the fourth quarter, rising 10.2% across


the major ports. Growth was strongest in
2% December at 25.3%, but the combined two
month gain over October and November
1%
was still a very respectable 8.2%. All in all,
0% U.S. container import volumes rose 8.0%
higher in 2018.
-1%
A stronger economy seems to be
2014
2014
2014

2015
2015
2015

2016
2016
2016

2017
2017
2017

2018
2018
2018
2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

the main driver of the improvement in


container import volumes. Changes in US
Source for all charts on this page: FTR Transportation Intelligence
trade policy, primarily with the Chinese,

10 Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019
have also contributed to increased
U.S. Economic Indicators
imports. Throughout 2018, there has
been speculation that freight may have 17Q4 18Q1 18Q2 18Q3 18Q4
been pushed forward to avoid tariffs on
Gross Domestic Product (SAAR) 2.3% 2.2% 4.2% 3.4% 2.7%
Chinese imports. October and December
import volumes seem to support this Merchandise Imports (SAAR) 14.2% 2.4% -0.4% 10.5% 5.4%
theory. Industrial Production – Mfg. (vs. LY) 2.1% 2.1% 2.0% 3.5% 2.4%
Import gains were fairly well balanced Capacity Utilization – Mfg. 75.7% 75.9% 76.1% 76.5% 76.4%
between the East and the West. U.S.
Retail Sales (Excl. Autos, vs. LY) 5.8% 4.9% 6.3% 6.5% 5.4%
West Coast ports climbed 10.4% in Q4,
while East Coast gains were just behind Inventory/Sales Ratio – All Business 1.35 1.36 1.34 1.34 1.35
that at 10.1%. Within the Western U.S., Housing Starts (Millions, SAAR) 1.26 1.32 1.26 1.23 1.25
an interesting trend was the invigoration
Trade Weighted Value $ (1973=100) 96.8 95.1 97.7 100.7 102.8
of the Northwest. Container imports
through the U.S. Northwest climbed
12.4% over October and November. This
represents a significant turnaround from
Canadian Economic Indicators
2017, when imports to that region fell
0.8%. On the East Coast, the Southeast 17Q4 18Q1 18Q2 18Q3 18Q4
led overall gains, followed by the Gulf and Gross Domestic Product (SAAR) 1.7% 1.7% 2.9% 2.0% 1.8%
then the Northeast.
Imports (SAAR) 7.7% 4.7% 5.9% -7.8% 4.4%
Canadian import volumes seem to Exports (SAAR) 5.7% 2.3% 13.0% 0.9% 3.8%
have followed a similar pattern as in the
Industrial Production – Mfg. (vs. LY) 3.9% 3.4% 2.0% 2.5% 2.4%
U.S. Only Western Canadian container
import data is available, but imports Retail Sales (vs. Last Year) 7.1% 3.4% 3.2% 3.6% 2.0%
at the Port of Vancouver and at Prince Housing Starts (Thousands, SAAR) 185.9 189.7 201.2 189.3 190.3
Rupert climbed 10.1% in October and U.S. $/Canadian $ $0.79 $0.79 $0.77 $0.77 $0.76
slipped by 1.4% in November. Western
Canadian imports advanced 13.3% in
2017, but growth has been inconsistent
in 2018. In Q1, Western Canadian Mexican Economic Indicators
imports climbed 12.6% in Q1, but in Q2
gains slowed to 0.3% and in Q3 volumes 17Q4 18Q1 18Q2 18Q3 18Q4
advanced by just 2.9%. Q4 volumes seem Gross Domestic Product (SAAR) 3.2% 4.3% -0.4% 3.4% 1.6%
to be on track to rise roughly 4.0%. Imports (SAAR) 10.9% 12.0% -3.4% 6.4% 9.8%
While container imports did well in Exports (SAAR) 16.1% 11.4% 9.1% 0.0% 1.9%
October and November, U.S. container Industrial Production – Mfg. (vs. LY) -0.5% 0.0% 0.3% 1.3% 0.1%
exports struggled, losing 2.7% over the
Mexican Peso / U.S. $ $18.98 $18.72 $19.41 $18.95 $19.85
two month period. The Chinese economy
slowed in Q4 and this may have had
SAAR = Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate of growth from prior quarter. Some Q4 2018
an impact on U.S. exports, but trade figures are preliminary estimates.
policy likely played a role as well. Several
countries have enacted retaliatory tariffs
against the U.S. In contrast, Canadian
trade policy has been more stable and
Western Canadian exports actually did
quite well in October and November,
rising 7.1% over the two month period.
This discrepancy may suggest that
trade policy is having an impact on U.S.
exports.

Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019 11
Monthly Traffic
Equipment Moves by Type, Ownership and Size

Oct Nov Dec Fourth Quarter


17 18 17 18 17 18 17 18 Pct. Chg.
Trailers 118,546 123,371 121,249 123,365 132,792 125,449 372,587 372,185 0%
Private 117,888 123,043 120,398 122,870 129,328 124,727 367,614 370,640 1%
Rail-controlled 658 328 851 495 3,464 722 4,973 1,545 -69%

Containers 1,474,332 1,567,297 1,399,143 1,451,440 1,361,594 1,408,792 4,235,069 4,427,529 5%


Private 1,255,541 1,350,353 1,192,778 1,250,465 1,179,635 1,236,195 3,627,954 3,837,013 6%
Rail-controlled 218,791 216,944 206,365 200,975 181,959 172,597 607,115 590,516 -3%

Total 1,592,878 1,690,668 1,520,392 1,574,805 1,494,386 1,534,241 4,607,656 4,799,714 4%


Private 1,373,429 1,473,396 1,313,176 1,373,335 1,308,963 1,360,922 3,995,568 4,207,653 5%
Rail-controlled 219,449 217,272 207,216 201,470 185,423 173,319 612,088 592,061 -3%

Trailers 118,546 123,371 121,249 123,365 132,792 125,449 372,587 372,185 0%


20' 127 111 130 155 116 94 373 360 -3%
28' 22,941 24,997 22,541 23,875 22,931 21,957 68,413 70,829 4%
40' 1,765 1,498 1,940 1,600 2,115 1,410 5,820 4,508 -23%
45' 7,471 6,855 6,946 6,085 6,585 5,613 21,002 18,553 -12%
48' 2,058 1,845 3,428 3,286 7,168 6,474 12,654 11,605 -8%
53' or greater 84,184 88,065 86,264 88,364 93,877 89,901 264,325 266,330 1%

Containers 1,474,332 1,567,297 1,399,143 1,451,440 1,361,594 1,408,792 4,235,069 4,427,529 5%


20' 193,357 199,327 181,962 185,710 187,388 189,136 562,707 574,173 2%
28' 14 17 18 10 16 10 48 37 -23%
40' 578,105 619,551 545,022 579,381 547,900 592,535 1,671,027 1,791,467 7%
45' 20,291 18,815 17,717 15,329 17,014 14,857 55,022 49,001 -11%
48' 3,469 3,806 3,471 3,418 3,220 3,397 10,160 10,621 5%
53' or greater 679,096 725,781 650,953 667,592 606,056 608,857 1,936,105 2,002,230 3%

Total 1,592,878 1,690,668 1,520,392 1,574,805 1,494,386 1,534,241 4,607,656 4,799,714 4%


20' 193,484 199,438 182,092 185,865 187,504 189,230 563,080 574,533 2%
28' 22,955 25,014 22,559 23,885 22,947 21,967 68,461 70,866 4%
40' 579,870 621,049 546,962 580,981 550,015 593,945 1,676,847 1,795,975 7%
45' 27,762 25,670 24,663 21,414 23,599 20,470 76,024 67,554 -11%
48' 5,527 5,651 6,899 6,704 10,388 9,871 22,814 22,226 -3%
53' or greater 763,280 813,846 737,217 755,956 699,933 698,758 2,200,430 2,268,560 3%

12 Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019
Eastern Canada Region (EC) Includes: NB, NF, NS, ON, PE, QC

Oct Nov Dec Fourth Quarter


17 18 17 18 17 18 17 18 Pct. Chg.
EC Total Total 120,738 117,333 120,109 110,227 105,080 101,111 345,927 328,671 -5%
Outbound Trailers 4,169 0 4,392 0 3,778 0 12,339 0 -100%
Containers 116,569 117,333 115,717 110,227 101,302 101,111 333,588 328,671 -1%

EC Total Total 117,954 118,508 115,139 108,975 104,198 104,888 337,291 332,371 -1%
Inbound Trailers 4,298 116 4,552 93 3,851 78 12,701 287 -98%
Containers 113,656 118,392 110,587 108,882 100,347 104,810 324,590 332,084 2%

EC to EC Total 43,613 41,984 44,235 37,744 37,981 36,352 125,829 116,080 -8%
Internal Trailers 4,169 0 4,391 0 3,778 0 12,338 0 -100%
Containers 39,444 41,984 39,844 37,744 34,203 36,352 113,491 116,080 2%

Mountain Central Region (MC) Includes: CO, ID, MT, NE, ND, SD, UT,
WY

Oct Nov Dec Fourth Quarter


17 18 17 18 17 18 17 18 Pct. Chg.
MC Total Total 21,357 25,638 20,806 23,062 20,390 21,858 62,553 70,558 13%
Outbound Trailers 4,660 5,736 5,015 5,407 5,207 4,804 14,882 15,947 7%
Containers 16,697 19,902 15,791 17,655 15,183 17,054 47,671 54,611 15%

MC Total Total 25,806 28,671 24,591 28,302 24,254 27,164 74,651 84,137 13%
Inbound Trailers 4,624 5,850 5,058 5,781 4,816 4,627 14,498 16,258 12%
Containers 21,182 22,821 19,533 22,521 19,438 22,537 60,153 67,879 13%

MC to MC Total 2,230 3,192 2,943 3,243 2,348 1,687 7,521 8,122 8%


Internal Trailers 1,318 1,864 1,623 2,022 1,272 934 4,213 4,820 14%
Containers 912 1,328 1,320 1,221 1,076 753 3,308 3,302 0%

Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019 13
Midwest Region (MW) Includes: IL, IN, IA, KY, KS, MI,
MN, MO, OH, WI

Oct Nov Dec Fourth Quarter


17 18 17 18 17 18 17 18 Pct. Chg.
MW Total Total 425,326 455,246 408,124 417,497 404,228 414,238 1,237,678 1,286,981 4%
Outbound Trailers 46,199 49,428 47,541 48,191 51,655 50,917 145,395 148,536 2%
Containers 379,127 405,818 360,583 369,306 352,573 363,321 1,092,283 1,138,445 4%

MW Total Total 405,540 443,035 396,688 416,854 396,393 410,404 1,198,621 1,270,293 6%
Inbound Trailers 45,264 49,976 46,760 49,832 53,080 50,537 145,104 150,345 4%
Containers 360,276 393,059 349,928 367,022 343,313 359,867 1,053,517 1,119,948 6%

MW to MW Total 25,908 30,545 27,510 29,649 28,866 29,294 82,284 89,488 9%


Internal Trailers 11,461 11,883 12,148 11,569 13,503 12,735 37,112 36,187 -2%
Containers 14,447 18,662 15,362 18,080 15,363 16,559 45,172 53,301 18%

Mexico Region (MX) Includes: All of Mexico

Oct Nov Dec Fourth Quarter


17 18 17 18 17 18 17 18 Pct. Chg.
MX Total Total 64,118 62,033 55,292 54,818 47,978 48,696 167,388 165,547 -1%
Outbound Trailers 82 3 36 3 2,436 0 2,554 6 -100%
Containers 64,036 62,030 55,256 54,815 45,542 48,696 164,834 165,541 0%

MX Total Total 61,208 56,600 53,274 50,519 46,304 45,087 160,786 152,206 -5%
Inbound Trailers 88 14 52 12 31 23 171 49 -71%
Containers 61,120 56,586 53,222 50,507 46,273 45,064 160,615 152,157 -5%

MX to MX Total 47,759 45,000 40,261 39,990 36,388 37,162 124,408 122,152 -2%
Internal Trailers 53 0 18 0 1 0 72 0 -100%
Containers 47,706 45,000 40,243 39,990 36,387 37,162 124,336 122,152 -2%

14 Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019
Northeast Region (NE) Includes: CT, DC, DE, ME, MD, MA,
NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, VA, WV

Oct Nov Dec Fourth Quarter


17 18 17 18 17 18 17 18 Pct. Chg.
NE Total Total 151,521 164,586 144,186 153,745 149,091 151,509 444,798 469,840 6%
Outbound Trailers 12,561 14,503 13,306 14,375 16,642 16,471 42,509 45,349 7%
Containers 138,960 150,083 130,880 139,370 132,449 135,038 402,289 424,491 6%

NE Total Total 170,904 178,170 161,417 159,677 158,328 153,879 490,649 491,726 0%
Inbound Trailers 14,248 14,735 15,008 15,586 16,351 15,282 45,607 45,603 0%
Containers 156,656 163,435 146,409 144,091 141,977 138,597 445,042 446,123 0%

NE to NE Total 11,177 11,768 9,251 10,479 9,913 9,634 30,341 31,881 5%


Internal Trailers 528 489 536 448 764 646 1,828 1,583 -13%
Containers 10,649 11,279 8,715 10,031 9,149 8,988 28,513 30,298 6%

Northwest Region (NW) Includes: OR, WA

Oct Nov Dec Fourth Quarter


17 18 17 18 17 18 17 18 Pct. Chg.
NW Total Total 62,236 75,717 63,572 68,868 60,115 69,759 185,923 214,344 15%
Outbound Trailers 4,950 5,717 4,466 5,603 5,127 5,528 14,543 16,848 16%
Containers 57,286 70,000 59,106 63,265 54,988 64,231 171,380 197,496 15%

NW Total Total 67,352 71,841 63,129 65,175 63,229 70,123 193,710 207,139 7%
Inbound Trailers 4,861 5,696 5,030 5,670 5,517 5,917 15,408 17,283 12%
Containers 62,491 66,145 58,099 59,505 57,712 64,206 178,302 189,856 6%

NW to NW Total 13,460 16,233 12,459 14,434 12,212 14,366 38,131 45,033 18%
Internal Trailers 28 0 16 10 46 5 90 15 -83%
Containers 13,432 16,233 12,443 14,424 12,166 14,361 38,041 45,018 18%

Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019 15
South Central Region (SC) Includes: AR, LA, NM, OK, TX

Oct Nov Dec Fourth Quarter


17 18 17 18 17 18 17 18 Pct. Chg.
SC Total Total 110,970 120,016 106,357 112,520 107,028 105,543 324,355 338,079 4%
Outbound Trailers 6,600 6,657 6,956 6,875 7,111 6,718 20,667 20,250 -2%
Containers 104,370 113,359 99,401 105,645 99,917 98,825 303,688 317,829 5%

SC Total Total 122,508 131,488 119,511 126,544 121,354 124,754 363,373 382,786 5%
Inbound Trailers 8,202 8,418 7,613 8,120 8,130 7,153 23,945 23,691 -1%
Containers 114,306 123,070 111,898 118,424 113,224 117,601 339,428 359,095 6%

SC to SC Total 6,436 8,693 8,379 8,470 7,474 8,321 22,289 25,484 14%
Trailers 464 341 266 167 569 102 1,299 610 -53%
Containers 5,972 8,352 8,113 8,303 6,905 8,219 20,990 24,874 19%

Southeast Region (SE) Includes: AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC,
TN

Oct Nov Dec Fourth Quarter


17 18 17 18 17 18 17 18 Pct. Chg.
SE Total Total 202,523 215,325 185,709 201,448 190,437 199,499 578,669 616,272 6%
Outbound Trailers 16,215 15,789 15,500 15,863 17,021 17,090 48,736 48,742 0%
Containers 186,308 199,536 170,209 185,585 173,416 182,409 529,933 567,530 7%

SE Total Total 217,397 227,967 204,235 214,607 202,880 213,612 624,512 656,186 5%
Inbound Trailers 17,068 16,307 16,440 16,136 18,010 17,814 51,518 50,257 -2%
Containers 200,329 211,660 187,795 198,471 184,870 195,798 572,994 605,929 6%

SE to SE Total 98,725 104,572 90,014 99,332 90,144 101,200 278,883 305,104 9%


Internal Trailers 11,783 11,124 10,981 10,503 11,640 12,080 34,404 33,707 -2%
Containers 86,942 93,448 79,033 88,829 78,504 89,120 244,479 271,397 11%

16 Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019
Southwest Region (SW) Includes: AZ, CA, NV

Oct Nov Dec Fourth Quarter


17 18 17 18 17 18 17 18 Pct. Chg.
SW Total Total 297,241 310,153 286,187 292,399 284,743 287,650 868,171 890,202 3%
Outbound Trailers 22,981 25,422 23,876 26,955 23,742 23,841 70,599 76,218 8%
Containers 274,260 284,731 262,311 265,444 261,001 263,809 797,572 813,984 2%

SW Total Total 273,167 299,151 256,703 273,516 257,572 260,634 787,442 833,301 6%
Inbound Trailers 19,893 22,259 20,735 22,135 23,006 24,016 63,634 68,410 8%
Containers 253,274 276,892 235,968 251,381 234,566 236,618 723,808 764,891 6%

SW to SW Total 5,249 6,787 5,165 5,690 6,084 6,574 16,498 19,051 15%
Internal Trailers 1,752 2,137 1,470 2,169 2,123 2,434 5,345 6,740 26%
Containers 3,497 4,650 3,695 3,521 3,961 4,140 11,153 12,311 10%

Western Canada Region (WC) Includes: AB, BC, MB, NT, SK

Oct Nov Dec Fourth Quarter


17 18 17 18 17 18 17 18 Pct. Chg.
WC Total Total 136,848 144,621 130,050 140,221 125,296 134,378 392,194 419,220 7%
Outbound Trailers 129 116 161 93 73 80 363 289 -20%
Containers 136,719 144,505 129,889 140,128 125,223 134,298 391,831 418,931 7%

WC Total Total 131,042 135,237 125,705 130,636 119,874 123,696 376,621 389,569 3%
Inbound Trailers 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 2 100%
Containers 131,042 135,237 125,704 130,636 119,874 123,694 376,620 389,567 3%

WC to WC Total 32,319 33,252 30,186 32,893 30,159 28,841 92,664 94,986 3%


Internal Trailers 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 NA
Containers 32,319 33,252 30,186 32,893 30,159 28,839 92,664 94,984 3%

Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019 17
MAJOR INTERMODAL CORRIDORS
Oct Nov Dec Fourth Quarter
17 18 17 18 17 18 17 18 Pct. Chg.
Midwest-Southwest 273,749 283,609 261,394 263,186 257,229 253,788 792,372 800,583 1.0%
Trailers 26,647 29,191 28,031 29,222 28,200 28,470 82,878 86,883 4.8%
Containers 247,102 254,418 233,363 233,964 229,029 225,318 709,494 713,700 0.6%
MW to SW 135,051 143,667 127,685 130,285 124,056 123,116 386,792 397,068 2.7%
Trailers 13,177 14,495 13,712 13,867 14,335 14,721 41,224 43,083 4.5%
Containers 121,874 129,172 113,973 116,418 109,721 108,395 345,568 353,985 2.4%
SW to MW 138,698 139,942 133,709 132,901 133,173 130,672 405,580 403,515 -0.5%
Trailers 13,470 14,696 14,319 15,355 13,865 13,749 41,654 43,800 5.2%
Containers 125,228 125,246 119,390 117,546 119,308 116,923 363,926 359,715 -1.2%

Northeast-Midwest 194,793 215,623 189,805 198,994 195,290 198,518 579,888 613,135 5.7%
Trailers 18,201 19,989 18,433 19,513 21,350 21,030 57,984 60,532 4.4%
Containers 176,592 195,634 171,372 179,481 173,940 177,488 521,904 552,603 5.9%
MW to NE 104,420 112,248 100,128 100,538 100,290 99,445 304,838 312,231 2.4%
Trailers 9,287 9,312 9,250 9,215 10,065 9,336 28,602 27,863 -2.6%
Containers 95,133 102,936 90,878 91,323 90,225 90,109 276,236 284,368 2.9%
NE to MW 90,373 103,375 89,677 98,456 95,000 99,073 275,050 300,904 9.4%
Trailers 8,914 10,677 9,183 10,298 11,285 11,694 29,382 32,669 11.2%
Containers 81,459 92,698 80,494 88,158 83,715 87,379 245,668 268,235 9.2%

South Central-Southwest 135,007 148,768 126,767 142,345 132,519 141,501 394,293 432,614 9.7%
Trailers 5,767 6,142 5,623 6,264 5,156 5,414 16,546 17,820 7.7%
Containers 129,240 142,626 121,144 136,081 127,363 136,087 377,747 414,794 9.8%
SC to SW 62,564 67,494 58,359 64,208 61,040 61,740 181,963 193,442 6.3%
Trailers 2,225 2,202 2,443 2,481 2,328 2,390 6,996 7,073 1.1%
Containers 60,339 65,292 55,916 61,727 58,712 59,350 174,967 186,369 6.5%
SW to SC 72,443 81,274 68,408 78,137 71,479 79,761 212,330 239,172 12.6%
Trailers 3,542 3,940 3,180 3,783 2,828 3,024 9,550 10,747 12.5%
Containers 68,901 77,334 65,228 74,354 68,651 76,737 202,780 228,425 12.6%

East-West Canada 122,657 124,278 119,085 119,103 108,379 109,922 350,121 353,303 0.9%
Trailers 129 116 162 93 73 78 364 287 -21.2%
Containers 122,528 124,162 118,923 119,010 108,306 109,844 349,757 353,016 0.9%
EC to WC 63,836 63,525 62,608 61,525 55,646 54,230 182,090 179,280 -1.5%
Trailers 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 -100.0%
Containers 63,836 63,525 62,607 61,525 55,646 54,230 182,089 179,280 -1.5%
WC to EC 58,821 60,753 56,477 57,578 52,733 55,692 168,031 174,023 3.6%
Trailers 129 116 161 93 73 78 363 287 -20.9%
Containers 58,692 60,637 56,316 57,485 52,660 55,614 167,668 173,736 3.6%

Midwest-Northwest 75,622 87,349 75,259 79,215 72,763 86,335 223,644 252,899 13.1%
Trailers 7,519 9,086 7,227 8,803 7,989 8,981 22,735 26,870 18.2%
Containers 68,103 78,263 68,032 70,412 64,774 77,354 200,909 226,029 12.5%
MW to NW 36,584 39,522 34,542 36,516 34,500 42,467 105,626 118,505 12.2%
Trailers 3,656 4,538 3,833 4,456 4,319 4,791 11,808 13,785 16.7%
Containers 32,928 34,984 30,709 32,060 30,181 37,676 93,818 104,720 11.6%
NW to MW 39,038 47,827 40,717 42,699 38,263 43,868 118,018 134,394 13.9%
Trailers 3,863 4,548 3,394 4,347 3,670 4,190 10,927 13,085 19.7%
Containers 35,175 43,279 37,323 38,352 34,593 39,678 107,091 121,309 13.3%

Southeast-Southwest 82,017 88,945 78,126 80,840 78,881 76,974 239,024 246,759 3.2%
Trailers 2,144 1,873 2,105 1,992 1,912 1,529 6,161 5,394 -12.4%
Containers 79,873 87,072 76,021 78,848 76,969 75,445 232,863 241,365 3.7%
SE to SW 39,030 44,366 35,797 40,131 38,073 38,381 112,900 122,878 8.8%
Trailers 935 735 975 807 995 779 2,905 2,321 -20.1%
Containers 38,095 43,631 34,822 39,324 37,078 37,602 109,995 120,557 9.6%
SW to SE 42,987 44,579 42,329 40,709 40,808 38,593 126,124 123,881 -1.8%
Trailers 1,209 1,138 1,130 1,185 917 750 3,256 3,073 -5.6%
Containers 41,778 43,441 41,199 39,524 39,891 37,843 122,868 120,808 -1.7%

Intra-Southeast 98,725 104,572 90,014 99,332 90,144 101,200 278,883 305,104 9.4%
SE to SE 98,725 104,572 90,014 99,332 90,144 101,200 278,883 305,104 9.4%
Trailers 11,783 11,124 10,981 10,503 11,640 12,080 34,404 33,707 -2.0%
Containers 86,942 93,448 79,033 88,829 78,504 89,120 244,479 271,397 11.0%

18 Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019
INTERMODAL MARKET TRENDS & STATISTICS
FOURTH QUARTER AND YEAR-END 2018 REPORT
Data Providers
Participating Railroads Participating IMCs
BNSF Railway APL Logistics Legacy Supply Chain Services
Canadian National Railway Celtic International Matson Logistics
Canadian Pacific Echo Global Logistics, Inc. Mode Transportation
CSX Transportation Hub Group Radiant Clipper
Ferrocarril Mexicano, S.A. de C.V. Independent Dispatch, Inc. SunteckTTS
Florida East Coast Railway Integra Logistics Services, LLC XPO Logistics
Kansas City Southern Railway Knichel Logistics
Norfolk Southern Company
Union Pacific Railway

Region Map

Region Code States/Provinces


Eastern Canada EC NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC
Mountain Central MC CO, ID, MT, NE, ND, SD, UT, WY
Mexico MX MX
Midwest MW IL, IN, IA, KY, KS, MI, MN, MO,
OH, WI
Northeast NE CT, DE, DC, ME, MD, MA, NH,
NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, VA, WV
Northwest NW OR, WA
South Central SC AR, LA, NM, OK, TX
Southeast SE AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN
Southwest SW AZ, CA, NV
Western Canada WC AB, BC, MB, NT, SK

Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019 19
2018 FOURTH QUARTER AND YEAR-END REPORT
Notes to Report
1) This report reflects data submitted by the above railroads and IMCs to the Intermodal Association of North America. It
represents the best available information on regional intermodal traffic movements.
2) Some region-to-region flows are inflated because this data includes rebills across major interchange points (as is the case
with the AAR Weekly Railroad Traffic Report). Some railroads are unable to provide ultimate origins and/or destinations.

Explanatory Notes for Intermodal Section

yy An Intermodal Shipment is any load that is lifted on or off a steel-wheeled rail platform at origin and/or destination of
a shipment or any movement under a revenue waybill.
yy A Rail-controlled Unit is a piece of equipment owned or paid for by a rail carrier for at least the reported waybill move.
yy A Private Unit is any piece of equipment other than a Rail-controlled Unit.
yy A container moving on a chassis is reported as a container.
yy A very small number of 57 foot trailers and containers is counted in the 53 foot trailer and container totals.
yy Data includes empty movement only when it is a revenue generating move. Railroad movement of rail controlled
empties is not counted.
yy Roadrailer movements are included in the trailer data.

Explanatory Notes for Trucking Industry Outlook as provided by FTR

yy Tractor/Trailer Loads Originated is the estimated number of tractor/trailer loads originated in the United States plus
loads that come to U.S. destinations from Mexico and Canada. It is tons divided by the average tons per trailer.
yy Truck Utilization Rate calculates the percentage of the total population of trucks required to move the U.S. truck
freight. In general, a figure above 90% indicates a tight market where the majority of the truck population is at work. A
figure below 85% indicates a weak market where a significant portion of the truck population is idle.
yy The Truck Share of Employment Index indicates the number of actual drivers versus the Available Driver Pool (see
Driver Labor Availability Index). When rising it is becoming increasingly more difficult to find/hire the next driver,
converse when falling.
yy Driver Shortage/Surplus is the number of drivers needed to be added/(subtracted) in relation to freight demand.
When negative it is basically the backlog of drivers needed to be filled.
yy The Driver Labor Availability Index measures the relative pool of people available to be hired as drivers. When rising
the supply of available persons to be a driver is growing, converse when falling.
yy Average Length-of-Haul represents ton miles divided by tons.

The Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report is prepared for IANA by:
TTX Company – www.ttx.com
FTR Transportation Intelligence – http://www.ftrintel.com (trucking industry outlook section and related charts)
Data collection, report production and distribution are handled by IANA. For more information on participating as a data provider or
methodology, please contact Art Cleaver, membership and marketing coordinator, at 301-982-3400, ext. 346.
Copyright ©2018, Intermodal Association of North America. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited.
This report covers the fourth quarter of 2018.

20 Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report | Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 | © IANA 2019