AAR reports mixed volumes for week ending May 25
Carload volume—at 281,727—was down 3.3 percent annually, and intermodal—at 248,210 trailers and containers—was up 1.4 percent compared to last year.
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Carload and intermodal volumes were mixed for the week ending May 25, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Carload volume—at 281,727—was down 3.3 percent annually and below the week ending May 18 at 285,679 and ahead of the week ending May 11 at 280,986.
Intermodal—at 248,210 trailers and containers—was up 1.4 percent compared to last year, below the week ending May 18 at 250,129 and the week ending May 11 at 284,266.
Total weekly traffic for carloads and intermodal units—at 529,937—was down 1.1 percent annually.
Of the ten main commodity groups tracked by the AAR, five saw annual increases. Petroleum and petroleum products were up 28.7 percent. Grain was down 21.8 percent.
The AAR also reported that for the first quarter of this year, U.S.-based Class I railroads originated 97,135 carloads of crude oil, which is a 20 percent increase from the 81,122 from the fourth quarter of 2012 and 166 percent better than the 36,544 recorded during the first quarter of 2012.
On a year-to-date basis, carloads are down 1.8 percent at 5,811,904 and intermodal is up 4.1 percent at 5,039,245 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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