• JOC Inland Distribution
  • 26-28 September 2022 | The Westin Chicago North River
  • Register Now

Ari Ashe

S&P Global

Senior Editor, Southeast Ports and Intermodal Rail, JOC

Ari Ashe has more than a decade of journalism experience working in the busy newsrooms of Washington D.C. He earned two bachelor’s degrees at George Washington University and a master’s in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University. In 2006, he began his career with WTOP-FM in Washington D.C., a 24/7 all-news radio outlet. Beginning as a producer, he was the commuter transportation beat reporter from 2012 through 2015. He won an Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative journalism during the three-year stretch. In 2016, Ashe moved over to covering commercial transportation for Transport Topics, a publication of the American Trucking Associations, covering the business of trucking, railroads, and ocean carriers, including quarterly earnings reports and economic news affecting the industry. He joined the JOC in 2018 and reports on the Southeast US ports, intermodal, and trucking.

Sessions With Ari Ashe

Monday, 26 September

  • 02:30pm - 05:30pm (CST) / 26/sep/2022 07:30 pm - 26/sep/2022 10:30 pm


    This exclusive, shipper-only discussion facilitated by JOC Senior Editors William Cassidy and Ari Ashe will bring together shippers in an off-the-record meeting to exchange ideas and potential solutions to the numerous challenges confronting stakeholders in the North American supply chain, while learning what they expect to learn from the conference sessions and panelists over the coming two days. BY INVITATION ONLY FOR SHIPPERS

Tuesday, 27 September

  • 01:45pm - 02:15pm (CST) / 27/sep/2022 06:45 pm - 27/sep/2022 07:15 pm

    Intermodal I: Transloading vs. IPI

    Gridlock in the inland distribution network in 2021 caused ocean carriers to pull back on international intermodal, also known as inland point intermodal, or IPI. The market hasn’t fully recovered yet as IPI volume was down 15 percent year over year in the first quarter of this year, according to the Intermodal Association of North America. Shippers are transloading international loads into 53-foot containers or trailers to avoid the markups ocean carriers are charging for IPI, the headaches finding a driver and an available chassis to pick up loads, and punitive rail demurrage penalties often from factors outside the control of the importer. Where IPI has rebounded in 2022 — the West Coast to the Midwest — trucking companies are reporting many of the same problems as last year: higher truck turn times, not enough chassis, and rail demurrage penalties. This session will explore whether railroads, chassis providers, and other supply chain stakeholders have been able to handle IPI volume any better this year, and whether persistent struggles in handling the inland flow of ocean containers may lead to a permanent shift as intermodal providers such as Hub Group, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Schneider National, STG Logistics, and Swift Intermodal invest in their transloading services.
  • 03:15pm - 03:45pm (CST) / 27/sep/2022 08:15 pm - 27/sep/2022 08:45 pm

    Intermodal II: Domestic Intermodal Service

    Putting domestic containers on the rail can save shippers a lot of money, if they can deal with service that has historically been less consistent than long-haul trucking. The US Class I railroads are working hard to provide a truck-like service to shippers, simplifying networks, especially on domestic intermodal, which generally provides faster end-to-end service than international intermodal. Nevertheless, there have been service disruptions this year in Dallas, Chicago, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Seattle-Tacoma with strong demand and equipment supply challenges as container and chassis turns are well below pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, Schneider National will switch from BNSF Railway to Union Pacific Railroad in 2023, a reshuffling that could change how much business shippers do with top intermodal marketing companies (IMCs). This session will explore these issues and discuss how the US intermodal network will keep containers flowing as asset-based IMCs expand their container fleets. 

Wednesday, 28 September

  • 09:45am - 10:15am (CST) / 28/sep/2022 02:45 pm - 28/sep/2022 03:15 pm

    Intermodal III: Domestic Intermodal vs. Trucking – A Pricing Analysis

    In this session, the JOC will present its proprietary research around a central question: How much should an average US shipper save using domestic intermodal compared with long-haul trucking? We will present our latest findings, and then our panelists will sit down to talk about where intermodal delivers the strongest value, where trucking is highly competitive, and how shippers should weigh cost savings against service disruptions and the potential for unplanned accessorial fees when making modal decisions going into 2023. 
  • 11:30am - 12:00pm (CST) / 28/sep/2022 04:30 pm - 28/sep/2022 05:00 pm

    Intermodal IV: Reefer Intermodal — Is it a Viable Option?

    While intermodal has historically been dominated with standard dry goods, several intermodal marketing companies (IMCs) now are investing in temperature-controlled containers to handle perishables on trains. For many years, reefer containers were unable to hold as many pallets as a standard reefer trailer, and US Class I railroads have been nudging IMCs away from trailer-on-flatcar business because it’s not as efficient as containers-on-flatcar business. A new “Slimline” model of reefer containers, however, has closed the gap on carrying capacity, allowing IMCs to effectively compete for perishable freight. Large IMCs such as Hub Group and J.B. Hunt Transport Services also have entered the temperature-controlled intermodal market, competing against more legacy providers in temperature-controlled trucking and intermodal such as C.R. England, KLLM Transport, Marten Transport, NFI Industries, Prime, and TigerCool Express. This session will assess the future of temperature-controlled intermodal and what the future may hold for this newer way to move temperature-controlled freight in the US. 

  • 01:35pm - 02:15pm (CST) / 28/sep/2022 06:35 pm - 28/sep/2022 07:15 pm

    Intermodal V: Containers, Chassis, and the Pursuit of Equipment to Meet Demand

    With a surge in international imports and domestic intermodal traffic, the supply chain needs more equipment to efficiently move the freight. To satisfy demand, there must be more containers, more chassis, and more productivity in the intermodal networks. But not everyone is making the same level of investment. While large intermodal providers, less-than-truckload providers, and US retailers are growing their container fleets, US Class I railroads Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific are focusing instead on buying more chassis. Equipment lessors DCLI and Milestone Equipment Holdings have felt the pressure to supply enough equipment to move the freight. This session will analyze the investments in containers, chassis, and other equipment necessary to handle the future of freight.