Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


AAR reports mixed carload and intermodal volumes for August 2012

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
September 07, 2012

The Association of American Railroads said this week that carload and intermodal volumes for August were again mixed.

August carloads—at 1,461,680—were down 1.4 percent annually. Intermodal—at 1,230,992 trailers and containers—was up 4.3 percent compared to August 2011.

AAR officials pointed out that the average weekly intermodal volume in August of 246,198 represents the second highest average for the month of August, according to their data.
“U.S rail traffic in August was pretty much same song, different verse,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray in a statement. “Weakness in coal carloadings was largely but not entirely offset by increases in carloads of petroleum and petroleum products, autos, lumber, and several other commodities, with intermodal showing continued strength.”

The AAR also reported that as of September 1, 311,226 freight cars were in storage, which represents 3,745 fewer cars than August 1 and is the equivalent to 20.3 percent of the North American fleet.

Various commodities tracked by the AAR were up on an annual basis in August. Petroleum and petroleum products were up 49 percent—or 18,007 carloads, and motor vehicles and parts were up 13 percent—or 8,966 carloads. Coal was down 7.3 percent—or 48,493 carloads, and metallic ores fell 18 percent or 8,757 carloads.

“While rail fundamentals continue to be solid overall, the carriers are likely to face a few headwinds in 3Q12, including rising fuel prices and the 60-day lag effect of fuel surcharges,” wrote Dahlman Rose analyst Jason Seidl in a research note. “On a more macro level, a number of Class Is are now expecting a ‘muted’ peak season, but still ahead of last year.”

For the week ending September 1, the AAR said that carload volumes—at 292,732—were down 3.4 percent annually. Intermodal—at 249,113 trailers and containers—was up 6.5 percent.

And on a year-to-date basis through the first 35 weeks of 2012, U.S. carloads—at 9,890,231—are down 2.4 percent. Intermodal—at 8,226,793 trailers and containers—are up 3.7 percent.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
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. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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!

Recent Entries

In an effort to help buyers of freight transportation and logistics services to better understand the required best practices in order to be a shipper of choice for their carrier partners, non asset-based third-party logistics (3PL) services provider Transplace said this week it has rolled out a Preferred Shipper Checklist.

For a new facility in Chicago, DHL Global Forwarding converted to electric lift trucks. The result? Better uptime and a cleaner environment.

January carloads dropped 16.6 percent, or 192,747 annually, to 968,042, and intermodal volume was up 3.4 percent, or 34,523 units, annually at 1,039,621 containers and trailers.

While the PMA-ILWU dispute was settled last spring, a new port-related labor issue popped up on the East Coast last week, when a labor dispute on Friday, January 29 occurred when union members of the International Longshoremen Association (ILA), the largest union of maritime workers in North America, walked off the docks at the Port of New York and New Jersey, the largest East Coast port and second largest U.S. port.

“Sea Strangulation" explains how the United States has become vulnerable to Chinese maritime coercion and details a challenge from China that the U.S. is ill-prepared to meet.

Article Topics

News · Intermodal · Rail Freight · AAR · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2016 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA