Intermodal volume rose 1.1% in the first quarter of 2007, setting a first-quarter record and continuing a growth pattern that has now entered its sixth year.

The first-quarter results, including a 2.5% increase in international traffic, showed that volume reached 3.41 million shipments, according to the Intermodal Association of North America’s Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics report. Intermodal growth continues even as volume has slumped in other modes of transportation. The 1.1% first quarter 2007 growth rate exceeded the 0.6% increase during the fourth quarter of last year.

The quarterly report, which contains detailed, exclusive market information, included increases in three of the nine IANA regions, including the Southwest and Midwest, which together accounted for 50% of total volume.

First Quarter 2006/2007 Intermodal Volume Comparisons

1Q2006 1Q2007 Change
Trailers 608,181 531,122 -12.7%
Domestic Containers 784,758 850,147 8.3%
All Domestic Equipment 1,392,939 1,381,269 -0.8%
ISO Containers 1,977,716 2,027,247 2.5%
Total 3,370,655 3,408,516 1.1%

Domestic container traffic increased 8.3% in the quarter, reflecting the continuing trend of growth in that equipment type. Trailer business fell 12.7%, as railroads continued to move more freight in containers that can be double-stacked.

The percentage of intermodal freight that is international was 59.5% in the quarter, compared with 53% five years ago.

Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics is published quarterly by IANA.