Insights - May/June 2018 - 10
For all of 2018, the forecast is for continued international
growth at around 4.6 percent, he said. Domestic intermodal
growth is expected at approximately 5.5 percent.
Positive Overall Message
The second half of the morning's General Session, "What is
Driving Intermodal?" continued the positive news.
Moderated by Larry Gross,
president of Gross Transportation
Consulting, the four-member panel
shared their perspectives on the
state of the industry.
Intermodal demand feels
"really good," said Phil Yeager, chief
commercial officer for Hub Group,
because of the economic and ELD
factors. "We don't see demand
slowing down in the short run."
The stronger market is prompting
customers to ask how they can be prepared for peak season
volumes, in contrast to recent past years when the demand was
weaker, he said.
Greg Tuthill, senior vice president for CMA CGM America,
said the ocean carrier's 2018 forecast was "pretty robust"
despite a really difficult winter that tested the U.S. freight
network's resiliency and capacity. "Overall, I'm fairly optimistic,"
Charlie Wellins, president of
FlexiVan, believes the economy is in
"very good condition" after the solid
first quarter start.
Mark Simon, assistant vice
president for Union Pacific Railroad,
said service levels are improving
after difficult challenges in the
second half of last year. In that
period, the improving economy
created sluggishness in UP's
network, which was compounded
when customers added equipment, which further slowed trip
Yeager and the other panelists noted several factors that
could cloud the favorable picture.
Service difficulties could create reticence for customers that
are considering intermodal, he said. Successful efforts to add
drayage capacity using tools such as driver pay increases must
be continued, he added.
Another question mark is the availability for longer-distance
regional drayage moves, Yeager added, because the ELD
mandate is prompting a number of drayage drivers to choose
more runs within the 100-mile radius exemption.
Simon indicated one potential solution in Chicago is
increasing the use of steel-wheel interchange among railroads,
which could reduce longer distance drayage.
10 Intermodal Insights | May/June 2018
Tuthill said efforts to ensure that there are no mismatches
between ocean, port and rail capacity also must be continued.
Wellins and Adcock both mentioned the threat of a trade
war could hurt the import outlook, while Tuthill observed
that changes in export flows could hurt domestic origins of
matchback cargo with international freight.
Emphasis on Chassis, Utilization
Sporadic chassis supply issues, particularly in the Midwest,
also need attention, several panelists said.
In addition, several indicated that a key ingredient for
successful intermodal operations is the continued enhancement of utilization and service, panelists said.
"We are very excited that our customers are involved in
utilization," Yeager said, because live loads, multiple stops and
delays can be problematic for the motor carrier and driver when
available hours are at a premium.
"We see this amazing opportunity to
convert more business to intermodal."
Tuthill said there is a need for shippers and carriers to be
collaborative in efforts to improve throughput.
"We have to continue to find efficiencies," Simon said, such
as street turns.
"We see this amazing opportunity to convert more business
to intermodal," Yeager said. "What is holding us back is
variability in transit time."
Focusing on fluidity throughout the intermodal move is the
key to capturing that business, he added.
Wellins said another key feature in utilization is improved
visibility of intermodal freight.
"It's important to be more responsive to what beneficial
cargo owners and non-vessel operating common carriers are
looking for," he said. "That will drive more efficiency, drive down
costs and improve speed to market."
Transloading's Appeal Increases
Another focus of the morning's session was the continued
growth in transloading.
Adcock noted the long-term growth of transloading relative
to intact inland intermodal moves. Transloading is gaining favor
because of the flexibility it provides for retailers.
Yeager and Simon also stressed the growing attention to
Retailers are embracing transloading in part because it
may help to alleviate questions about the availability of inland
drayage capacity this year, Yeager said.
Simon said transloading is gaining in importance because
ocean carriers have shown some reluctance to make intact
inland moves unless they are more profitable.
Wellins noted that intact inland intermodal moves have
been a key subject this spring in freight contract negotiations
between carriers and shippers.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Insights - May/June 2018
Operations & Maintenance Business Meeting 2018 Recap: Creating the Future of Intermodal
Intermodal Is on a Positive Path in 2018
Chassis Market’s Evolution Blends Promise, Challenges
Identifying the Missing Link in Chassis Maintenance
ELD Mandate Lessons: Opportunity, Compliance, Tech Issues
ELD Mandate Effect: Opportunity Beckons for Intermodal
Ocean Carrier Realignments Trigger Significant Change for Intermodal
Build Awareness of Intermodal to Attract Job Candidates
3PLs Adopt Technology to Enhance Customer Relationships
As Technology Changes Business Relationships, Personalization Still Matters
Voice of the Shipper
Insights - May/June 2018 - Cover1
Insights - May/June 2018 - 2
Insights - May/June 2018 - 3
Insights - May/June 2018 - IANA News
Insights - May/June 2018 - Operations & Maintenance Business Meeting 2018 Recap: Creating the Future of Intermodal
Insights - May/June 2018 - 6
Insights - May/June 2018 - 7
Insights - May/June 2018 - 8
Insights - May/June 2018 - Intermodal Is on a Positive Path in 2018
Insights - May/June 2018 - 10
Insights - May/June 2018 - Chassis Market’s Evolution Blends Promise, Challenges
Insights - May/June 2018 - 12
Insights - May/June 2018 - 13
Insights - May/June 2018 - 14
Insights - May/June 2018 - Identifying the Missing Link in Chassis Maintenance
Insights - May/June 2018 - ELD Mandate Lessons: Opportunity, Compliance, Tech Issues
Insights - May/June 2018 - 17
Insights - May/June 2018 - ELD Mandate Effect: Opportunity Beckons for Intermodal
Insights - May/June 2018 - Ocean Carrier Realignments Trigger Significant Change for Intermodal
Insights - May/June 2018 - 20
Insights - May/June 2018 - 21
Insights - May/June 2018 - 22
Insights - May/June 2018 - Freight Report
Insights - May/June 2018 - Build Awareness of Intermodal to Attract Job Candidates
Insights - May/June 2018 - 25
Insights - May/June 2018 - 26
Insights - May/June 2018 - 27
Insights - May/June 2018 - 3PLs Adopt Technology to Enhance Customer Relationships
Insights - May/June 2018 - 29
Insights - May/June 2018 - 30
Insights - May/June 2018 - As Technology Changes Business Relationships, Personalization Still Matters
Insights - May/June 2018 - 32
Insights - May/June 2018 - 33
Insights - May/June 2018 - 34
Insights - May/June 2018 - Government News
Insights - May/June 2018 - 36
Insights - May/June 2018 - New Members
Insights - May/June 2018 - 38
Insights - May/June 2018 - 39
Insights - May/June 2018 - 40
Insights - May/June 2018 - 41
Insights - May/June 2018 - 42
Insights - May/June 2018 - Intermodal Calendar
Insights - May/June 2018 - Cover4