Domestic and international intermodal volumes posted solid gains in Q2 2011, according to a report by the Intermodal Association of North America. IANA's Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics report notes that domestic container volume grew 9.0 percent year over year - a stronger pace than during the previous two individual quarters. This rate of increase is especially impressive considering that the highest gain recorded (16.4 percent) was posted in Q2 2010.
Although domestic containers recorded significant increases, trailer volumes had more modest gains, rising 4.6 percent over 2010 levels - a slightly slower pace than in the previous quarters that likely represents a continued equipment shift toward domestic containers. Domestic intermodal's strong pace was bolstered by a steep rise in diesel prices that likely made it more cost-effective for shippers to shift freight off the highway.
International intermodal volumes during the quarter increased 5.4 percent year over year. While this is the slowest rate of international growth since late 2009, it should be noted that previous quarÂters benefited from weak comparisons. International shipments also would likely have been higher were it not for the disasters in Japan that reduced the volume of Japanese imports.
While the rate of intermodal growth slowed from the first quarter to the second quarter, it still remains in line with many industry analyst estimates of 6-percent to 8-percent year-over-year expansion.
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