CALVERTON, MD-Intermodal freight volume had its second-best performance ever last year, according to the most recent Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics report published by the Intermodal Association of North America. Total volume reached 14.1 million units, 1.1% below the record of 14.2 million units set in 2006. A 2.7% rise in domestic traffic helped lift Q4 intermodal volume above the Q3 level, but a 4.7% decline in international traffic kept the total 1.6% below the Q4 ’06 level. Q4 domestic container volume rose 9.5%, resulting in a full-year increase to 5.74 million units.

The volume increase reflected a solid full-year performance by intermodal marketing companies, whose loads rose 3.7%. The increases resulted in improved annual volume, revenue and revenue per load in every IMC category, the first increase in all of those categories since 2000.

“The growth in domestic intermodal was very encouraging at a time when other freight traffic volume has been struggling,” says Tom Malloy, vice president of member services and business development for IANA. “That growth affirms the continuing value of intermodal service and sets the stage for a return to international volume increases when import traffic rebounds.

Overall freight traffic on US railroads was the second highest on record, according to the Association of American Railroads in Washington, DC. Volume totaled 16.95 million carloads, down 2.5% from ’06.

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