Intermodal Market Share Dipped Slightly in Q4, FTR Reports

FTR Associates has reported intermodal market share declined by 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. The decline comes after steady increases for the previous three quarters. The fourth quarter 2010 share still was 1.7 percent higher than the fourth quarter of 2009.

FTR measures intermodal market share as a percentage of total seasonally adjusted U.S. dry box-type cargo movements moving 550 miles or more via intermodal or highway.  The information is contained in the February Intermodal Update report, of FTR’s Freight Focus Series.

“The early August peak in international intermodal movements propelled intermodal to a market share record in the third quarter” says FTR senior consultant Larry Gross. “But some of that volume was traffic that normally would move later in the year during the fourth quarter, resulting in the small share decline as the end of year approached.”

Gross indicated that the future for intermodal is bright. “We believe this is just a pause in the long-term trend towards increasing intermodal usage.  Our projections show that truck capacity will begin to tighten significantly once we emerge from the winter doldrums, due to a combination of economic factors and government regulations. This will help take intermodal’s share to new heights over the course of 2011.”

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