Intermodal June and year-to-date volumes are mostly down, reports IANA

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor · July 20, 2020

June intermodal volumes saw some annual gains, while year-to-date volumes were down across the board, with COVID-19 serving as the driver, according to data provided to LM by the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).

Total shipments for the month—at 1,415,627—were off 4.9% annually. Domestic containers—at 656,825—were off 6.8%, while trailers—at 101,919—slumped 4.6%. All domestic equipment—at 758,744—was off 6.5%. ISO, or international, containers—at 656,883—saw a 13.2% decline.

On a year-to-date basis through June, IANA reported the following:

domestic containers fell 2.5% to 3,605,467;

trailers were down 18.9% to 517,557;

all domestic equipment was off 4.9% to 4,123,024; and

ISO containers declined 13.4% to 4,071,864

Going back to mid-March, when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, IANA has said that sector, specifically on the domestic container and ISO sides, has seen significant import declines.

And IANA President and CEO Joni Casey said in a recent interview that the COVID-19 impact on intermodal volume makes it challenging to forecast volumes.

“International volumes may continue to fall for the rest of 2020, reflecting the low demand for imports as well as the impact of tariffs, most of which remain in place,” she said.

IANA has recently noted that domestic container loads also
 are expected to fall between 15% and 20%, as demand is low, fuel prices have fallen drastically, and transloads of imports are expected to decline.

“Overall, total intermodal loadings are forecast
 to fall about 15% for all of 2020,” said. “Yet all those dealing with intermodal should know it is very difficult to confirm where this will go this year.”

July 20, 2020