Login



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Not a PLUS+ Subscriber?

Become a PLUS+ Subscriber today and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access
  • 7 Magazine Issues per Year
  • Companion Digital Editions
  • Digital Edition Archives
  • Bonus Email Newsletters

Subscribe Today!

Premium access to exclusive online content, companion digital editions, magazine issues and email newsletters.

Subscribe Now.


Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2009.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $109/year*. Begin yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

* Prices higher for subscriptions outside the USA.

PLUS+ Customer Service Support


Customer service for all PLUS+ subscribers is available Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Eastern time.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)
Mail: PO Box 1496, Framingham MA 01701-1496, USA



You have been logged out of PLUS+


For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Need to access our premium PLUS+ Content?
Upgrade your subscription now.


Our records show that you are currently receiving a free subscription to Supply Chain Management Review magazine, or your subscription has expired. To access our premium content, you need to upgrade your subscription to our PLUS+ status.

To upgrade your subscription account, please contact customer service at:

Email: [email protected] Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)

Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2010.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $129/year*. Start yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

This content is available for PLUS+ subscribers.


Already a PLUS+ subscriber?


To begin or upgrade your subscription, Become a PLUS+ subscriber now.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

Sorry, but your login to PLUS+ has failed.


Please recheck your login information and resubmit below.



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

IANA reports annual Q4 and 2015 intermodal volume gains

Intermodal volumes for the fourth quarter of 2015 were mostly in line with both volumes and trends that were intact through the first three quarters of the year, according to the Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report issued this week by the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).

By ·
{scmr_abstract}
By ·

Intermodal volumes for the fourth quarter of 2015 were mostly in line with both volumes and trends that were intact through the first three quarters of the year, according to the Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report issued this week by the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).

Total intermodal volume movements—at 4,122,522—were up 0.3 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, which was well below the third quarter’s 3.4 percent annual growth rate. 

Domestic containers saw the highest annual growth rate in the fourth quarter, up 5.2 percent at 1,759,245, while trailers continued to stumble, falling 15 percent to 363,295. All domestic equipment saw a 1.1 percent annual gain at 2,122,540. ISO, or international containers, were down slightly, seeing a 0.6 percent decrease to 1,999,982.

For all of 2015, total intermodal volume movements were up 2.8 percent over 2014 at 16,736,994. Trailers were off 6.0 percent annually at 1,566,702, with domestic containers up 5.1 percent at 6,773,661, and all domestic equipment up 2.8 percent at 8,340,363. 

In assessing fourth quarter volumes, IANA said that the relatively low annual growth rate speaks to three primary themes: solid domestic container gains, which had a higher growth rate than both the second and third quarters; the ongoing decline of trailer volume, which IANA said has historically been the most volatile of intermodal markets, with intermodal freight having been pulled away from trailers for some time; and a mild decline in international container volumes, which saw seasonal fluctuations throughout 2015, due to the West Coast port labor dispute and congestion that slowed first quarter volumes, followed by a nearly 7 percent gain in the second quarter, and a 4 percent increase in the third quarter amid signs that imports were seeing strong gains in tandem with an increasing inventory-to-sales ratio that IANA said was a sign that inventories were growing too fast in 2015, with a fourth quarter slowdown expected.

International imports were also impacted by weak holiday sales and high inventory levels in the fourth quarter, but IANA said it is likely to bounce back due to a strong dollar, low fuel prices, and imports representing a rising share of consumer spending, with the first quarter expected to be higher than usual because of easier annual comparisons as the first quarter of 2015 was impacted by the West Coast port labor situation. 

In an interview, IANA President and CEO Joni Casey said that fourth quarter and full-year 2015 results were mostly in line with expectations.

At one point during the third quarter it looked like the international side of the equation was going to finish stronger,” she said. “And in comparison to last year, we didn’t expect intermodal trailers to fall as much as they did.  Higher inventory levels and softer over-the-road capacity most likely influenced these trends.”

The continued strength in domestic containers, which saw more than 5 percent growth for both the fourth quarter and all of 2015, was due to various factors, explained Casey, including a steady stream of diversions from highway loads, more consistent, reliable rail service, and continued investment in the intermodal network.

As for how intermodal’s 2016 prospects are shaping up, Casey said the outlook is largely positive.

“Given the challenges that the industry faced during 2015 and the positive results in spite of these challenges, I think that intermodal is posed for a pretty good year,” she said. “We are projecting continued gains in the domestic container market and an uptick for international shipments probably by the second quarter.”


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Supply Chain Management Review Magazine!

Subscribe today. Don't Miss Out!
Get in-depth coverage from industry experts with proven techniques for cutting supply chain costs and case studies in supply chain best practices.
Start Your Subscription Today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Third Party Risk: Too Close for Comfort
You’ve got a handle on many of the potential supply chain "disrupters" that can paralyze your business. But the real risk is embedded in areas you may have overlooked.
Download Today!
From the September-October 2017
Additive manufacturing and 3D printing promise to simplify manufacturing, reduce inventories, and streamline operations. But, to determine when and how to apply additive manufacturing, organizations need a decision model that assesses it’s market strategy, supply chain performance, and complexity.
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!


Latest Webcast
The Perfect Formula for Determining the Right Amount of Inventory
This webcast explains how the science of theoretical minimums, a new approach to inventory optimization, provides a simple and elegant way to reduce cost and increase customer service levels by monetizing time delays across the extended supply chain.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Supply Chains in Advanced Markets Should Become More Agile, Says Atradius
Higher inflation, falling unemployment, and strengthening Purchasing Manager Indices all suggest...
Trade Trends Report Confirms E-Commerce Urgency
Because trade policies remain fluid, shippers must have the information needed to be flexible and...

Supply Chain Digitization of Ocean Cargo Gateways Examined by chainPORT
The chainPORT initiative is led by the Ports of Los Angeles and Hamburg Port Authority in Germany,...
Procurement Still Falls Behind in Digitized Supply Chains, Says Accenture
“The digital revolution has largely overlooked procurement,” says Accenture.