CALVERTON, MARYLAND: The year 2011 proved to be the strongest one in history for intermodal container traffic.
According to the Market Trends & Statistics Report issued by Intermodal Association of North America (IANA), last year there were 12.4 million moves. This number surpassed the previous North American record, set in 2007, by 3.7 percent.
Other key figures were also up. Overall volume increased 4.9 percent for the year and 4.1 percent in the final quarter. These numbers mark intermodal’s second, consecutive, year-over-year volume gain and eighth consecutive quarterly increase.
In comparison with the final quarter of 2010, Q4 2011 saw a three percent drop in trailer volumes, but a 12.1 percent increase in domestic containers. All domestic equipment was up 7.9 percent.
Comparing the overall figures for 2011 with the numbers from 2010, last year had increases in volume across the board. Trailers were up 1.7 percent. Domestic containers were 9.6 percent higher. All domestic equipment had a 7.5 percent increase and ISO container volume was 2.8 percent stronger.
The report also found that “big box domestic loadings of 14.6m (48ft) and 16.2m (53ft) domestic containers also posted their highest-recorded numbers in Q4 and the year, accounting for 39.8 percent of all container volume during 2011.”