AAR reports gains in traffic for week ending May 18
Carload volume—at 285,679—was up 1.9 percent annually, and intermodal—at 250,159 trailers and containers—was up 3.5 percent
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Carload and intermodal volumes were both up for the week ending May 18, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Carload volume—at 285,679—was up 1.9 percent annually and ahead of the week ending May 11 at 280,986 and the week ending May 3 at 283,916.
Intermodal—at 250,159 trailers and containers—was up 3.5 percent annually and topped the week ending May 11 at 284,266 and the week ending May 4, which came in at 245,678.
Total weekly traffic for carloads and intermodal units—at 535,835—was up 2.6 percent annually.
Of the ten main commodity groups tracked by the AAR, five saw annual increases. Petroleum and petroleum products were up 38 percent. Grain was down 28.3 percent.
On a year-to-date basis, carloads are down 1.7 percent at 5,530,177 and intermodal is up 4.3 percent at 4,791,035 containers and trailers.
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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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