AAR reports gains in carload and intermodal volumes for week ending April 12

Carloads—at 295,294—were up 7.2 percent annually, and intermodal trailers and containers were up 9.3 at 264,382.

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Carload and intermodal volumes remained in a growth pattern, with carload and intermodal volumes both showing gains for the week ending April 12, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Carloads—at 295,294—were up 7.2 percent annually and below the week ending April 5 at 296,039 and the week ending March 29 at 301,317.

Intermodal trailers and containers were up 9.3 percent compared to the same period a year ago at 264,382, and topped the week ending April 5 at 261,084 and was below the week ending March 29 at 265,188.

Of the ten main commodity groups tracked by the AAR, eight saw annual increases for the week ending April 12. Grain was up 21.7 percent and coal was up 11.2 percent. Metallic ores and metals saw a 3.9 percent decline.

For the first 15 weeks of 2014, carloads are up 1.6 percent annually at 4,194,072, and intermodal is up 4.8 percent at 3,728,465 trailers and containers.


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Not Your Grandfather's Intermodal 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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