This richly illustrated history chronicles one of the most revolutionary developments in freight railroading during the twentieth century: intermodal shipping, or the use of containers to move cargo between trains, trucks, and oceangoing vessels. It was a development that transformed the movement of freight around the world, with an almost incalculable impact on American industry.
Intermodal railroading in North America begins tentatively, with attempts at piggybacking in the 1930s, before moving on to more serious developments in the period from World War II through the 1960s, notably by Canadian Pacific and the New Haven and Southern Pacific railroads. After looking at early intermodal technology and traffic, particularly the formation of pioneering equipment manufacturer and provider TTX, author Brian Solomon turns to the contemporary period. His account of mighty changes in North American shipping ranges from the implications of deregulation and various railroad mergers, to the emergence of partnerships between railroads and trucking and shipping firms. In addition to railroads like Conrail, BNSF, and CSX, this comprehensive history features trucking, freight delivery, and forwarding firms such as J. B. Hunt, Sea-Land, Maersk, and K-Line. It also considers the importance of specialized modern rolling stock, motive power, loading equipment, and intermodal hubs including South Kearney, Seattle, Long Beach, Oakland, and Houston.