AAR reports mixed volumes for week ending February 23
Carload volume—at 278,059—was down 1.2 percent annually, and intermodal volume—at 238,083 containers and trailers—was up 11 percent.
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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported this week that carload and intermodal volumes were once again mixed for the week ending February 23.
Carload volume—at 278,059—was down 1.2 percent annually and slightly below the week ending February 16 at 278,596 and the week ending February 9 at 273,369.
Intermodal volume—at 238,083 containers and trailers—was up 11 percent annually and below the weeks ending February 16 and February 9 at 251,078 and 244,679, respectively.
Total weekly traffic for carloads and intermodal units—at 516,142—was up 4.1 percent annually.
The AAR recently changed how it reports weekly commodity loadings. Its former process was comprised of 20 distinct commodity groups, which have now been grouped together.
The new commodity categories are: chemicals; coal; farm and food products, excluding grain (which includes farm products, excluding grain, grain mill products and food & kindred products); forest products; grain; metallic ores and metals (which also includes metallic ores, coke, metals & products, iron & steel scrap); motor vehicles and parts (which also includes motor vehicles and equipment); nonmetallic minerals and products (which also includes crushed stone, sand, and gravel; nonmetallic minerals; stone, clay & glass products); petroleum and petroleum products); and other (which includes waste and nonferrous scrap and all other carloads).
For the week ending February 23, four of the ten commodity groups showed gains, including petroleum products up 66.4 percent. Grain was down 17.3 percent.
On a year-to-date basis, carloads are down 4.6 percent at 2,169,628 and intermodal is up 7.3 percent at 1,902,470 containers and trailers.
About the AuthorJeff 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. Contact Jeff Berman
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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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