Total North American intermodal volume fell 3.9 percent in 2022 in contrast to the 3.6 percent expansion the industry enjoyed in 2021. Three of the past four years have seen negative annual totals.
• North American international container loadings fell 6.0 percent in 2022 after rising 5.0 percent in 2021.
• Full-year shipments of domestic containers were up 1.6 percent year-over-year with seven positive months, after expanding 2.3 percent in 2021.
• North American trailer loadings, which account for just 5.2 percent of total intermodal volume, fell 23.8 percent in 2022, after rising 2.2 percent in 2021.
• Over the course of the year, intermodal network fluidity improved but was impacted by terminal congestion, chassis shortages, the threat of a US rail strike, unresolved West Coast labor contract negotiations and ongoing warehouse overcrowding.
• In 2023, the shift of import arrivals from the West Coast to the East Coast and Gulf locations is expected to continue.
• Total intermodal volumes are projected to be flat in 2023 based on aggressive marketing from OTR truckers and retailers continuing to work down inflated inventories.