Whether you’re a domestic intermodal shipper or an intermodal provider, did you know the Journal of Commerce has a wealth of data? Our Intermodal Savings Index and Intermodal Service Scorecards provide proprietary and valuable data to the industry. The Journal of Commerce Intermodal Savings Index measures how much an average intermodal shipper should save using 53-foot containers compared with truckload alternatives. Our goal is to fill in the gap with intermodal rates to compare with industry-leading information from trucking data providers such as DAT Freight & Analytics. Our Intermodal Service Scorecards are customer satisfaction surveys to determine who are the best railroads and who are the best asset-owning and non-asset IMCs in the US. The world is filled with ways customers can review services and products, from Amazon and Google ratings to services such as Angi’s and Home Advisor. Our approach is to apply this model to intermodal using crowd-sourced data to identify the top service providers, and why they're successful. In this session, we'll go over the latest findings in both datasets and how shippers can make informed decisions using the information.
In the first quarter Journal of Commerce Intermodal Service Scorecard, most customers were satisfied with their transportation partners in 2023. More than eight out of every 10 shippers were somewhat or very satisfied with intermodal providers such as Hub Group, J.B. Hunt, Schneider National, STG Logistics, and Swift Intermodal. Seven out of every 10 intermodal providers said service from the North American Class I railroads was heading in the right direction. But many survey respondents also were concerned that better service is a symptom of weak volume and are skeptical that service will be better when demand rebounds. This session will analyze the latest data on train speeds and on-time performance, and how operations and sales representatives can work together to maintain strong relationships with customers, even during times of disruption.
The Journal of Commerce Intermodal Savings Index is showing that 2023 is the year of the shipper. Pricing power was in their corner during contract negotiations in the first and second quarters. Cheap truckload rates provided stiff competition to intermodal providers on lanes less than 1,200 miles. Trucks were cheaper than trains on several key lanes, making it difficult for intermodal providers to keep volume. On long hauls, particularly out of Los Angeles, asset-owning intermodal providers who brought in more than 37,000 new boxes in 2022 jockeyed for market share by slashing rates to manage their container glut. Non-asset intermodal providers struggled to fend off trucking and asset-owning competitors without significant sacrifice to margins. This session will explore whether any peak season has materialized, its impact on rates, and a look ahead to whether the scales will tip back toward carriers in 2024.
The three days of Inland23 have dissected data, analyzed market conditions, and featured forecasts. Pulling everything together, what are the ideas, warnings, lessons, and perhaps even solutions we can take home that will help us catch the rebound when it comes? In this closing session of Inland23, our conference co-chairs will sit down with select experts to cut through the noise and deliver the consensus takeaways you need as you plan for 2024.