Val T. Noel

TRAC Intermodal

Chief Operating Officer

Val T. Noel joined TRAC Intermodal as senior vice president and chief operating officer in November 2013. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company. Before joining TRAC Intermodal, Noel held several senior leadership positions at Pacer International, Inc., and its affiliate, Pacer Cartage, most recently as executive vice president, Intermodal Operations, and president, respectively. Prior to Pacer, Noel worked at CSX from 1983 to 2004 where he held several management positions including drayage, terminal operations, equipment management, and president of the Intermodal Division. He is active in the intermodal industry and is a past board member of TTX and IANA, the past chairman of the IANA Operations Committee, and currently participates on the IANA Scholarship Committee.

Sessions With Val T. Noel

Monday, 28 February

  • 04:35pm - 05:20pm (EST) / 01/mar/2022 12:35 am - 01/mar/2022 01:20 am

    Intermodal Rail: What Went Wrong in 2021 and How Do We Fix It?

    After a tumultuous 2021, international intermodal shippers are focusing on how railroads can prevent bottlenecks from returning in Southern California, the Midwest, and the South Central US, while domestic intermodal shippers are focusing on when new container capacity will become available and how much contract rates will increase. As 2021 wound down, terminals in markets such as Chicago, Memphis, Kansas City, and Ohio were more fluid than earlier in the year, when international intermodal networks were paralyzed by a flood of import containers originating in Southern California and a shortage of chassis on which to mount them. As ocean containers piled up at inland railyards, domestic intermodal service also suffered because terminals typically store ocean and domestic containers together. Some relief is on the way, as numerous shippers and service providers are scheduled to receive new containers. Lawrence Gross, president and founder of Gross Transportation Consulting, believes that will help alleviate some of the pressure, while warning that a cooldown in freight demand would suddenly make a lot of new 53-foot capacity underutilized. A cooling of demand also could help improve flow through BNSF Railway and Union Pacific ramps on the West Coast, after both were forced to scale back, or “meter,” the number of routings through the heavily congested gateways last year, leading to a spike in transloading. This session will examine the major issues confronting the intermodal network in 2021, analyze the outlook for this year, and explore what shippers and service providers are doing to prevent a worst-case scenario from repeating.