Monday, February 08, 2010

Analysis: Intermodal increases market share during fourth quarter

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intermodal.jpgIntermodal continues to solidify its market share of U.S.freight transportation, particularly against the trucking sector, according to an analysis released by FTR Associates.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based firm said intermodal’s share of U.S. long-haul (550 miles-plus) movements of international and domestic containerized freight was estimated to be 13.3% in the fourth quarter, up 0.2% from the third quarter and slightly above the previous high-water mark achieved in the fourth quarter of 2008.   

“Intermodal has gained share for three consecutive quarters since the freight meltdown late last year” said Lawrence Gross, FTR senior consultant and principal author of the firm’s intermodal Monthly Update.  “This latest increase has been driven by improvement in the International Intermodal sector, an indication that imports and exports are rebounding faster than domestic traffic.  The market share of the Domestic intermodal sector, which had been growing earlier in the year, was flat in the fourth quarter”.

Gross said he expects the overall positive trend for intermodal to continue.  “Provided that the railroads maintain their current high levels of service, we see a variety of factors leading to a resumption of domestic share growth even as the international sector continues to rebound,” he said.