Posted on January 25, 2012 3:56 PM
Regional Intermodal Lift Freight Data
CMAP recently compiled a regional summary of intermodal lift freight data provided by railroads for calendar year 2010. A lift is the act of moving a container or trailer on or off a train. In 2010, the summary shows that the greater Chicago region (including Rochelle) handled about 6,730,000 lifts, up from about 6,145,000 in 2009. These intermodal containers and trailers are handled by the region’s 20 separate intermodal terminals for seven railroads.
CMAP also prepared a summary number to enable a comparison between Chicago and container ports around the world. Global port activity is measured by twenty-foot equivalent unit, or TEUs. CMAP estimated that the greater Chicago region handled 12.876 million TEUs in 2010. Comparing this number to information compiled by the Port of Rotterdam, this level of intermodal activity would rank Chicago as the world’s eighth busiest container port (after combining Los Angeles and Long Beach) if Chicago were a seaport.
Why is this important? While Chicago doesn’t handle the container volume of Shanghai, Singapore, or Hong Kong, the global TEU comparison numbers show that the Chicago region’s unparalleled national rail access facilitates a level of trade and commerce comparable to or greater than most other global cities. The rail access gives Chicago businesses good shipping opportunities across North America to ports on both coasts, thence to sea lanes serving the globe.
Source: CMAP photo