AAR reports mixed volumes for week ending December 7
Carloads—at 279,213—were off 4.4 percent annually, and intermodal—at 262,765 trailers and containers—was up 9.4 percent.
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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported this week that carload and intermodal volumes were mixed for the week ending December 7.
Carloads—at 279,213—were off 4.4 percent annually and ahead of the week ending November 30, which included Thanksgiving, at 255,628 and below the week ending November 23 at 296,581.
Intermodal—at 262,765 trailers and containers—was up 9.4 percent annually and ahead of the week ending November 30 at 207,888 and below the week ending November 23 at 267,759.
Of the ten main commodity groups tracked by the AAR, five saw annual increases. Grain was up 10.4 percent, and petroleum and petroleum products were up 18.6 percent. Coal was down 13. percent.
On a year-to-date basis, carloads are down 0.6 percent at 13,808,713 and intermodal is up 4.4 percent at 12,135,679 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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