AAR reports mixed volumes for week ending February 8
Carloads—at 261,254—were down 4.3 percent annually, and intermodal—at 246,114 containers and trailers—was up 0.6 percent compared to the same week a year ago.
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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported this week that carload and intermodal volumes were mixed for the week ending February 8.
Carloads—at 261,254—were down 4.3 percent annually and below the week ending February 1 at 270,903 and the week ending January 24 at 280,761.
Intermodal—at 246,114 containers and trailers—was up 0.6 percent compared to the same week a year ago and slightly below the week ending February 1 at 247,109 and ahead of the week ending January 24 at 245,883.
Of the ten main commodity groups tracked by the AAR, four saw annual increases for the week ending February 8.
Farm and farm products excluding grain were up 5.8 percent, and grain was up 4 percent. Coal was down 8.4 percent.
For the first six weeks of 2014, carloads are down 0.4 percent at 1,606,438, and intermodal is up 1.1 percent at 1,429,399 trailers and containers.
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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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