AAR data points to solid growth for rail volumes

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).

By ·

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, 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. Contact Jeff Berman

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!

Latest Whitepaper
Outsourcing the Indirect Supply Chain
This in-depth whitepaper takes you through the journey that Smith & Nephew - a global research, development and manufacturing company of medical devices and products - underwent when initially looking for a provider to manage their tool cribs and eventually decided on an end-to-end supply chain management firm. Outsourcing white papers, SDI medical device manufacturing
Download Today!
From the July 2016 Issue
While it’s currently a shippers market, the authors of this year’s report contend that we’ve entered a “period of transition” that will usher in a realignment of capacity, lower inventories, economic growth and “moderately higher” rates. It’s time to tighten the ties that bind.
2016 State of Logistics: Third-party logistics
2016 State of Logistics: Ocean freight
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Getting the most out of your 3PL relationship
Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...
Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....

Top 25 ports: West Coast continues to dominate
The Panama Canal expansion is set for late June and may soon be attracting more inbound vessel calls...
Port of Oakland launches smart phone apps for harbor truckers
Innovation uses Bluetooth, GPS to measure how long drivers wait for cargo