Transportation research and analysis firm FTR has announced content for the “Intermodal Economic Environment” track of educational sessions it’s organizing for the next Intermodal Expo of the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).

The IANA event will be held Sept. 21-23 at the Long Beach (CA) Convention Center. Registration is already open.
The economics-based sessions at the Intermodal Expo will include presentations by FTR senior consultants Larry Gross and Noël Perry as well by such other experts as Bill Strauss, Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. All the speakers will focus on industry-specific trends and forecasts useful to intermodal supply-chain stakeholders, FTR noted.  

Per FTR, the Intermodal Economic Environment track at the Expo will include these sessions:

Intermodal Freightcast. Supply, demand and the prospects for higher rates. In-depth review of intermodal’s recent performance and future prospects. Intermodal volume has been growing, but rates have been depressed.  Will growth continue and will it be enough to allow providers to increase rates?  This session will offer insight into the intermodal environment. It will include trends in the overall economy and freight demand along with intermodal prospects, including rate projections and potential risks and opportunities

Where’s My Driver?  The driver shortage and what it will mean for Intermodal. Regulatory activity and the improving economy are combining to create tight supplies of truck drivers for over-the-road and drayage carriers alike.  This session will discuss the causes of the driver shortage, the ramifications for intermodal and recommendations for dealing with the issue

The End of the Line for IPI? Trade, transloading and prospects for IPI growth. With trade patterns changing, ocean carriers’ strategies uncertain, and investment pouring into both inland logistics parks and coastal transloading facilities, what does the future hold for import goods that move on our intermodal system in ISO boxes?  This session will help explain the forces promoting changes, the tradeoffs between IPI and transloading, and opportunities for future growth 
 

Thinking Outside the Box. New markets for Intermodal. One way to keep intermodal growth on track is to tap into new markets.  New technologies and fresh approaches are allowing intermodal to do just that, but creativity and persistence are requirements for success.  This session will present two real-world examples of non-traditional approaches to expanding intermodal

“We are pleased to be a part of the educational offerings at this year’s Intermodal Expo,” remarked FTR’s Gross. “The importance of intermodal continues to grow, and the sophistication of businesses to understand and forecast freight and equipment demand needs to continue to improve as well.

“With the expansion of the educational opportunities,” he added, “this year’s attendees [of Intermodal Expo] will benefit greatly from the increased content.”