AAR reports carload and intermodal volumes are mixed for week ending March 8
Carloads—at 274,480—were down 1 percent annually, and intermodal was up 3.7 percent compared to the same week last year at 244,015 containers and trailers
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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported this week that carload and intermodal volumes were mixed for the week ending March 8.
Carloads—at 274,480—were down 1 percent annually and below the week ending March 1 at 287,294 and the week ending February 22 at 281,678.
Intermodal was up 3.7 percent compared to the same week last year at 244,015 containers and trailers and trailed the week ending March 1 at 257,710 and the week ending February 22 at 253,358.
Of the ten main commodity groups tracked by the AAR, five saw annual increases for the week ending March 8. Petroleum and petroleum products were up 11.3 percent and motor vehicles and parts were down 6.7 percent.
The AAR said that for the fourth quarter of 2013 Class I railroads moved 108,590 carloads of crude oil, with all of 2013 representing 407,642 crude oil carloads, representing a 74 percent increase compared to 2012. AAR officials said crude oil movements equate to 1.4 percent of all Class I volumes in 2013.
For the first ten weeks of 2014, carloads are down 0.4 percent at 2,270,522, and intermodal is up 1.4 percent at 2,421,107 trailers and containers.
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Transportation of freight in containers was first recorded around 1780 to move coal along England’s Bridgewater Canal. However, "modern" intermodal rail service by a major U.S. railroad only dates back to 1936. Malcom McLean’s Sea-Land Service significantly advanced intermodalism, showing how freight could be loaded into a “container” and moved by two or more modes economically and conveniently. As with all new technologies, there were problems that slowed the growth, which influenced many potential customers to shy away from moving intermodal.
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