IANA's Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report, released Nov. 4, also shows that domestic intermodal volume hit a new all-time peak in the third quarter, advancing 11.7 percent year-over-year to 1.59 million.
While domestic container volume increased 13 percent during the quarter to 1.16 million, IANA says some domestic container shipments may have been limited by capacity constraints. Such constraints may have compelled some shippers to use trailers. Intermodal trailer volume advanced a healthy 8.5 percent during the quarter compared to last year, to 428,767.
While many domestic container fleet operators have placed orders for new containers, container ship capacity constraints have prevented many of these orders from being filled, IANA reports. As a result, there are fewer domestic containers available to handle surging demand.
With the resurgence in international intermodal and continued gains in domestic containers, intermodal shipments are on their way to regaining the ground lost during the recession. Third quarter volumes were only 2.6 percent below the previous peak levels of 2008.