AAR reports mixed volumes for week ending July 7
Carload volume—at 243,156—was down 1 percent annually, and intermodal—203,362 trailers and containers—were up 5.6 percent.
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Rail carload and intermodal volumes were both up for the week ending July 7, according to data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Carload volume—at 243,156—was down 1 percent annually and behind the week ending June 30 at 278,634 and the week ending June 23 at 288,730. Eastern carloads were down 12.3 percent annually, and out west carloads were up 5.3 percent.
Intermodal volumes—at 203,362 trailers and containers—were up 5.6 percent compared to the same week last year and were behind the week ending and were slightly behind the week ending June 30 at 253,497 and the week ending June 23 at 246,128.
Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, 7 were up annually. Petroleum products were up 54.8 percent, and motor vehicles and equipment were up 52.7 percent.
Carloads for the first 27 weeks of 2012—at 7,567,974—were down 2.8 percent compared to the first 27 weeks of 2011, and intermodal was up 3.4 percent at 6,253,092 trailers and containers.
Estimated ton-miles for the week ending July 7 were down 0.4 percent at 28.2 billion, and were down 2.0 percent on a year-to-date basis at 862.0 billion.
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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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