Inbound Logistics Article: How to Leverage Rail Intermodal
Published on October 17, 2023 | Written by Karen Kroll
Intermodal shipping presents challenges, but it also offers great opportunities and benefits. Follow these strategies to help ensure your intermodal shipments move as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible.
“More shippers could take advantage of rail intermodal, as traffic has fallen recently. U.S. rail intermodal traffic for the first eight months of 2023 was 8.3 million intermodal units, down about 9.2% from 2022, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reports. Yet in 2022, U.S. rail intermodal volume accounted for approximately 27% of revenue for major U.S. railroads, more than any other rail traffic segment. One driver behind the drop is lower demand, as companies correct after having expanded their inventory levels during the recent supply chain disruptions. Respondents to the National Association of Manufacturers Outlook Survey for the third quarter of 2023 expect inventories to dip 1.8% over the next 12 months.”, says Inbound Logistics.
PLG Consulting’s Sr. Consultant and Project Manager, Rob Russell, spoke with Karen Kroll regarding the challenges facing the intermodal market today, while highlighting the many benefits for shippers of this mode. “Once shippers understand the intermodal network and the locations of the nodes and lanes served, they can determine if their shipping patterns overlap with the available lanes.”, Russell says.
Shippers also should build relationships with their rail carriers. Russell encourages shippers to “make sure the railroad knows who you are and why it’s important they move your freight. Hold them accountable when they don’t and praise them when they do.”
To read the full Inbound Logistics article, click here.