adapted from T. Prince (2001) "Towards an international intermodal
network", American Shipper, November.
Composition of the North American Intermodal Rail Fleet
An important shift in the composition of the North American
intermodal rail fleet took place in the 1990s with the move away
from piggybacking (Trailer on Flat Car; TOFC) towards Containers
of Flat Car (COFC). The development of
long distance corridors linking major port gateways such as Los
Angeles / Long Beach to inland destinations incited the setting of
double-stacked unit train services. TOFC services that used to dominate have become marginal.
This is related to a more efficient usage of rail assets permitted by
double-stacked services as well as the commitment of trucking
companies to integrate their drayage services with long distance
intermodal rail services. Also, most well cars can accommodate 53
foot domestic containers, undermining the need for piggybacking. What used to be carried as TOFC is now
carried as COFC.