Discretionary income has to increase, or consumer-led purchasing (the demand side) will drop again. Maybe not like what happened in March and April, but enough to impact intermodal.
If diesel prices should surge above $3.50 or $4 a gallon -- THEN the long term market share capture from truck can resume for intermodal. I'm not confident in such a price rise over the next year or more. Are you?
If merchandise restocking of shelves and warehouses has now been accomplished into mid-August -- and the school surge and the pre-Holiday period sales should stumble -- then international intermodal volume will likely drop again. NOT back to April / May levels, but certainly not back to the longer-term three to five year average for intermodal that we have seen in the past.
And if a 1918 virus-like scenario occurs into October, intermodal will drop into October and December.
There is way too much current uncertainty as to demand and to consumer-led spending outlooks. The higher income classes will not alone be sufficient to spur the intermodal growth other than for high-level retailers.
Mid October data should tell us more.