Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


AAR data points to solid growth for rail volumes

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
March 25, 2011

Railroad volumes were up again for both carload and intermodal for the week ending March 19, according to data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Carload volume at 293,772 was up 2.3 percent compared to the same week a year ago, and was ahead of the week ending March 12 at 292,164, but below the week ending March 5 at 303,953 and the week ending February 26 at 296,252.Carload volume was down 0.5 percent in the East and up 4.2 percent out West, matching Western output percentage wise from the week ending March 12. .

Intermodal volumes were up 10.7 percent with 222,788 trailers and containers, topping the week ending March 12 at 216,828 trailers and containers and the week ending March 5 at 214,343 and behind the week ending February 26 at 220,589.

As LM has reported, volumes are continuing to display annual and sequential growth to a large degree even though the percentage levels of annual gains are decreasing, due to the fact that 2010 was being compared to 2009, which was a low point for freight transportation volumes. Rail prospects for 2011 remain very encouraging, though, as railroads have been able to maintain solid pricing power in conjunction with volume increases.

Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, 12 were up annually. Metallic ores were up 93.5 percent, and petroleum products were up 12.9 percent. Waste and nonferrous scrap and primary forest products were down 14 percent and 10.1 percent, respectively.

Estimated ton-miles for the week were 33.2 billion for a 3.4 percent annual increase, and on a year-to-date basis, the 357.0 billion ton-miles recorded are up 6.5 percent.

ABH Consulting Principal Tony Hatch wrote in a recent research note that rail traffic is on solid footing.

“Rail traffic remains strong, and so far, the wars, earthquakes and government shutdown threats haven’t dimmed the near term outlook…..the intermediate outlook remains terrific and the rail renaissance over the longer term every bit intact,” wrote Hatch.

For related articles, please click here.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

U.S. carloads were down 2.4 percent annually at 284,618, and intermodal volume was up 6.7 percent compared to the same week as last year at 277,854 trailers and containers.

The results of the 2015 MHI Annual Industry Report were released at Wednesday’s ProMat keynote, with some of the biggest findings from the report’s survey being pricing pressure combined with ever growing customer expectations for a faster, better experience.

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in February was down 3.1 percent (2000=100) compared to a revised 1.3 percent (from 1.2 percent) increase in January. ATA said this reading marks the lowest level for the SA index going back to last September.

It was a busy day for railroad-related legislation yesterday, with the United States Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approving two bills with a railroad focus by a voice vote. The respective bills are S. 808, the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015 and S. 650, the Railroad Safety and Positive Train Control Extension Act.

Indications given by a splinter group of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union suggest that shippers should not assume the tentative contract with the Pacific Maritime Association is a “done deal.”

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA