Total intermodal volume fell in the third quarter of 2016, according to an Intermodal Association of North America quarterly report.
Intermodal trailer volumes fell by 26.9% and international shipments fell 6.7%, which contributed to the 4.6% overall loss for the quarter. The domestic container business gained 3.3%, which helped to offset the losses.
"The Q3 results were in line with the previous quarter, reflecting sluggish market conditions," said Joni Casey, president and CEO of IANA. "Projections for 2017 are more optimistic, based on continued increases in consumer spending and expectations that the international side of the equation will stabilize."
The seven highest-density trade corridors account for more than 63% of total intermodal volume. Collectively, volume on these corridors fell by 3.9% year-over-year.
The Midwest-Northwest corridor saw a 3% gain in traffic while all other corridors posted declines. The largest was an 11.2% reduction in volume in the South Central-Southwest corridor followed by a 5.3% reduction in the Midwest-Southwest corridor.
Regionally, losses were widespread due to weaker international traffic. The Mountain Central and Mexico regions were both in the negative at 11.5% while Western and Eastern Canada came closest to breaking even, falling 0.2% and 2.9% respectively. The Southwest, Midwest and Southeast regions all posted losses around 4.6%.
The two exceptions were the Northeast and Northwest, which benefited from a growth in international shipments, driving increases of 0.1% and 4.4% respectively.
Intermodal marketing companies demonstrated gains in the highway market sector. Thanks to excess trucking capacity, highway volumes were up 14.6% from the previous year. Intermodal loads fell 11.6 %. The net result for reporting IMCs was a total volume decrease of 0.1%.
The Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics report is published quarterly by IANA and is available on a subscription and individual copy basis. The report features detailed analyses and reproducible graphical representations of Q3 2016 results. For more information, click here.