Insights - June 2016 - (Page 7)

At 25, IANA Exceeds Goals When it comes to transportation, John McQuaid has lived it - from trucking to rail to the evolution of intermodal. As the first president of IANA, McQuaid helped set some lofty goals for the association and the industry. In a conversation with Insights for IANA's 25th McQuaid anniversary retrospective, he traces some of the history of intermodal, from a marginal business facing heavy competitive pressures, to a top revenue producer for motor carriers and the railroads and a vital tool for supply chains. Q: How has intermodal changed or driven changes that you may not have anticipated in the early days when IANA was getting started? McQuaid: The role of technology in terminal operations and, in particular, gate operations has facilitated efficiencies that I don't think we anticipated. This was absolutely necessary as a consequence of the growth of intermodal, particularly at the ports - though the railroads have done the same - it is more magnified at the ports. Even the way IANA's interchange agreement has evolved and the platforms they have now created as a result of that work have facilitated a much more efficient process. The technology in terms of dealing with the movement of freight within each of the networks has been a remarkable contribution to growth that we didn't necessarily see as being such an engine back in the late 80s and early 90s. Q: When IANA was formed 25 years ago, intermodal was a fledgling market segment in transportation. What were some of the initial challenges that its supporters had to overcome to gain acceptance and respect for the mode? McQuaid: One of the real challenges at the outset was shifting railroad thinking about operations. The railroad concerns at that time were more about moving the trains and less about customer needs. As intermodal became more of an option for finished goods, the whole idea of customer service and customer response became much more important. When users like UPS came along and started running intermodal unit trains, the railroads stepped up. They saw where the mode was going, and they knew what the customer needed. The revenue model for intermodal has taken time to evolve. For the truckload segment, intermodal was a head-on competitor. Just as the railroads have adapted and made intermodal an important part of their operating model, motor carriers have developed their markets for intermodal. Q: Intermodal has changed the face of rail and truck transportation over the decades. What do you see ahead for the mode? Where are the best opportunities for growth? The biggest challenges? McQuaid: If infrastructure is partly responsible for fueling intermodal growth, it has also been an issue for the mode itself. APL developed a "well car" to handle intermodal shipments in order to begin a "landbridge" service running cross country. A boon for intermodal comes from the use of dedicated terminals. But, despite the gains in efficiency from segregating intermodal operations, there are consequences. One of the challenges will be NIMBY - not in my backyard. There will continue to be obstacles to expanded platforms and terminals, but the best opportunity for growth is in converting truckload business. Solutions on the legislative and regulatory front have also been slow, due in part to an early emphasis on the intermodal movement of people. The unified voice IANA provides in dealing with issues from terminal efficiencies to equipment and infrastructure helps ensure progress. Getting there was not simple. There were complexities joining the efforts of precursor groups. That effort required a neutral party to act as an "honest broker," and that was Don McInnes, an intermodal executive with the Santa Fe Railroad at the time, who had no ties to any of those groups. Q: Who do you feel were some of the leading supporters of intermodal in those early days 25 years ago who were responsible for the strong industry it has become? Not just people - along with IANA, do other entities stand out along with the people who were June 2016 | Intermodal Insights 7

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Insights - June 2016

Restart Legislation Gets a Restart
Speed Limter Rule May Advance
FMCSA Sends Clearinghouse Rule to OMB
Silver Kingpin Award Ballots Due June 30
Business Meeting Roundtables Advance Safety and Productivity
EXPO Curtain Raisers Spotlight Industry Leaders and Analysts
State of the Industry and Federal Partners
At 25, IANA Exceeds Goals
Port Trucker Case is Tip of he NLRB's Spear Aimed at Contractor Status
Sustainability News
Freight Reports
Port News
People in the News
In Brief
2016 Sponsors
Welcome New Members
Intermodal Calendar

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