AAR reports mixed volumes for week ending January 26
Carload volume—at 265,839—was down 6.3 percent annually, and intermodal—at 238,789 trailers and containers—was up 1.6 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 January 26.
Carload volume—at 265,839—was down 6.3 percent annually and below the week ending January 19 at 277,490 and the week ending January 12 at 279,893.
Eastern carload volumes were down 11.7 percent annually, and out west carloads were down 2.8 percent.
Intermodal volume—at 238,789 trailers and containers—was up 1.6 percent annually and below the week ending January 19 at 249,397 and the week ending January 12 at 252,896.
Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, ten were up annually. Petroleum products were up 56 percent, and farm products, excluding grain were up 16.9 percent. Coal was down 14.6 percent, and metallic ores were down 20.4 percent.
On a year-to-date basis, carloads are down 7 percent at 1,064,904, and intermodal is up 4.7 percent at 919,399 containers and trailers.
Estimated ton-miles for the week ending January 26 were down 6.0 percent at 31.2 billion and down 6.7 percent at 124.2 billion ton-miles year-to-date.
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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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