Intermodal Records Strongest Annual Growth Since 2011; All Segments, Led by Domestic Containers, Report Gains

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IANA Report Shows Q4 Percentage Improvements Push Full-Year Intermodal Growth to 4.8 Percent

Significant mid-year gains, paired with across-the-board growth in Q4, contributed to strong overall intermodal performance in 2014, according to the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA)’s fourth quarter and year-end Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics. Despite the harsh winter that kicked off the year, intermodal volume improved 4.8 percent in 2014, with domestic containers leading growth and international intermodal delivering its biggest year-over-year advance since 2011.

“Intermodal performed well, despite industry-wide challenges,” said Joni Casey, president and CEO of IANA. “For the first time in four years, international, domestic container, and trailer market segments all posted year-over-year growth. And volume gains were widespread geographically, with eight out of nine regions recording increases during 2014.”

Domestic containers lead all gains in 2014, growing 5.7 percent year-over-year. Big boxes have remained the intermodal workhorse for four years straight, and for seven of the last eight years. International almost doubled its growth pace of the last three years, reporting a 4.4 percent increase in 2014. This uptick puts international loadings just 4 percent below pre-recession levels. Trailer volumes also reported volume improvements, with a 2.9 percent growth rate year-over-year.

Q4 2014 reported a relatively soft 3 percent growth rate, but gains were broad-based. Domestic containers once again led the way with a 5.1 percent quarter-over-quarter increase. International containers grew 2.1 percent quarter-over-quarter, with trailers eking out a 0.1 percent boost, which is more than it appears given this segment’s solid showing in Q4 2013.

Intermodal Marketing Companies reported solid intermodal revenue growth in Q4, with average revenue for intermodal loads up by 3.6%. IMC intermodal also reported a respectable 1.5 percent gain in volumes from Q3 2014 levels, which runs counter to normal seasonal trends and could be a signal that this segment is regaining some traction.

Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics is published quarterly by IANA and is available on a subscription and individual copy basis. Members of the press may request a sample copy of the 2014 Fourth Quarter and Year-End Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics from Tara Mullen at tara(at)intermodal(dot)org. The report features detailed analyses and reproducible graphical representations of Q4 2014 and year-end results.        

About IANA
IANA is North America's only industry trade association that represents the combined interests of the intermodal freight industry. The association’s mission is to promote the growth of efficient intermodal freight transportation through innovation, education and dialogue. The association offers valuable information and services specific to the intermodal industry encompassing consensus business solutions that facilitate: operations, regulatory compliance, and policy issue management. IANA's membership roster of over 1,000 members represents the diverse companies critical to moving freight efficiently and safely. IANA provides a discussion forum for the many types of stakeholders along the supply chain, resulting in a strong unified voice advocating the needs of intermodal freight transportation. For more information, visit

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