AAR reports mixed volumes for week ending July 20
Carload volume—at 277,933—was down 3 percent annually, and intermodal was up 2.8 percent annually at 253,424 trailers and containers.
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Carload and intermodal volumes were again mixed for the week ending July 20, according to data released this week by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Carload volume—at 277,933—was down 3 percent annually and ahead of the week ending July 13 at 277,132 and the week ending July 6 (which was likely impacted by the July 4 holiday) at 247,896.
Intermodal was up 2.8 percent annually at 253,424 trailers and containers and ahead of the weeks ending July 13 and July 6, respectively, at 248,201 and 205,597, respectively.
Total weekly traffic for carloads and intermodal units—at 531,357—was down 0.3 percent annually.
Of the ten main commodity groups tracked by the AAR, five saw annual increases.
Petroleum and petroleum products were up 28 percent. Grain was down 9.1 percent.
On a year-to-date basis, carloads are down 1.5 percent at 8,020,326 and intermodal is up 3.4 percent at 6,977,660 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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