Top 7 Intermodal Transportation Trends That Matter in 2022

What’s happening in the world of intermodal transportation in 2022? Here are seven trends that will shape the industry.

Whether you’re just starting out in logistics or you’ve been working in the field for years, it’s important to stay informed about these changes. Keep reading to learn more!

Intermodal freight transportation back on the rise

The intermodal freight transportation industry has seen its fair share of ups and downs. But Intermodal transportation is on the upward climb.

According to a report on ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global intermodal transportation market is expected to register a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 8.27% over forecast between 2020 to 2025.

So what does that mean for logistics professionals? Here are seven intermodal transportation trends that will matter in 2022. Keep an eye on them!

What’s trending in Intermodal Transport

Trend #1: Advances in Sustainability and Greener technology

Probably the most exciting trend is the advancement and development of battery-electric trains. Intermodal freight companies are racing to bring the first electric Intermodal train to market – for both intercity and intermodal transportation services.

In November 2021, CN Railway purchased Wabtec’s FLXdrive battery-electric freight locomotive, the first 100-percent battery heavy-haul engine for the region in support of CN’s sustainability objectives.

This new technology is an essential building block in moving toward a lower carbon future.

Trend #2: Better tracking on existing freight transportation systems and more visibility

With intermodal shipments on the rise and outdated systems falling behind, electronic scanning technology to make the shipping process faster and more efficient will become more prominent.

A demand for a more efficient shipment of goods has motivated the rail industry to improve operations by implementing precision scheduled railroading (PSR).

Intermodal freight companies need to keep up with these changes for the sake of their customers and business growth. Real-time or live tracking, tracking with hands-on video, and GPS reporting are all up-and-coming or evolving.

Intermodal software can help Intermodal freight operators manage load boards, track incoming shipments, update drivers on the status of their cargo, and even allow customers to track their shipments online.

Best of all? Intermodal software is often cloud-based or SaaS (software-as-a-service)

Trend #3: Innovation in technology and intermodal services

Intermodal transportation providers are investing in new technologies to offer never-seen-before services.

CN Rail’s (Canadian National Railway) partnership with Google Cloud to deliver an enhanced customer service experience has helped modernize railway services in Canada.

And the adoption of new technologies like Positive Train Control (PTC), designed to address human error, is ushering in an exciting new era of efficiency and safety for US railroads – source Association of American Railroads (AAR), Assistant VP Luisa Fernandez-Willey

Trend #4: Port congestion

Global freight forwarders are bracing themselves for another year of backlogs … or are they?

According to Greg Knowler of JOC.com (The Journal of Commerce Online) despite recent carrier “hype” over persistent congestion levels, rising prices and interest rates might slow down consumer demand and result in a rapid drop in global container shipping demand.

… there will be no shortage of solutions or surprises for the market this upcoming year.

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Trend #5: Transportation companies embracing B2B eCommerce

B2B eCommerce is the most efficient way for companies to connect with each other online. And Intermodal B2B eCommerce allows smaller companies to share orders and take advantage of bulk purchasing.

Trend #6: Driver Shortages

An ongoing truck driver shortage, a declining workforce from retirement and from those who can’t afford to drive – is causing a worry in the Intermodal industry.

In order for Intermodal companies to stay profitable, they need to be able to transport goods as quickly as possible. The truck driver shortage makes that nearly impossible.

Coyote.com reports that the industry is seeing a -38% in truck driver posting activity.

Trend #7: Investment in warehousing operations

As Intermodal companies expand their Intermodal services an increasing number are investing in Intermodal warehouses to meet customer demand for last mile delivery.

This will provide improved quality of service, cost savings and improved end-to-end Intermodal freight management.

Intermodal transportation providers are preparing themselves for the future by investing in new technologies and embracing B2B eCommerce.

These changes will help Intermodal freight operators manage load boards, track incoming shipments, update drivers on the status of their cargo, and even allow customers to track their own shipments online.

As global freight forwarders brace themselves for another year of backlogs, Intermodal companies are looking for solutions to keep up with rising prices and interest rates.

Whatever surprises the market has in store this upcoming year, RailGateway is here to help you save. Request your FREE no-obligation quote today!