AAR reports gains for week ending December 28
Carloads—at 230,293—were up 8.1 percent annually, and intermodal—at 172,396 trailers and containers—was up 10.6 percent.
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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported this week that carload and intermodal volumes were both up for the week ending December 28.
Carloads—at 230,293—were up 8.1 percent annually and below the week ending December 21 at 289,528 and the weeks ending December 14 and December 7 at 278,664 and 279,213, respectively.
Intermodal—at 172,396 trailers and containers—was up 10.6 percent compared to the same week last year and was behind the weeks ending December 21, December 14 and December 7 at 255,456, 268, 161, and 262,765, respectively.
Of the ten main commodity groups tracked by the AAR, nine saw annual increases for the week ending December 28.
Grain was up 36.8 percent, at 18,201 carloads and petroleum and petroleum products were up 29.8 percent at 13,532 carloads. Metallic ores and metals were down 7.2 percent at 22,064 carloads.
For the 52 weeks of 2013, carloads were up 0.5 percent at 14,608,403, and intermodal was up 4.6 percent at 12,831,692 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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