AAR reports mixed volumes for week ending November 17
Carload volume—at 288,717—was down 4.3 percent annually, and intermodal—at 249,115 trailers and containers—were up 2.4 percent compared to the same period last year.
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Railroad volumes remained mixed for the week ending November 17, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported last week.
Carload volume—at 288,717—was down 4.3 percent annually. It was ahead of the week ending November 10 at 283,414 and November 3, which was impacted by Hurricane Sandy, and came in at 278,320.
Eastern carload volumes were down 4.5 percent annually, and out west carloads were down 4.1 percent.
Intermodal volumes—at 249,115 trailers and containers—were up 2.4 percent compared to the same period last year and were slightly down compared to the 249,531 trailers and containers recorded for the week ending November 10 and were ahead of the week ending November 3 at 224,467.
Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, 8 were up annually. Petroleum products were up 54.2 percent, and motor vehicles and equipment were up 16.3 percent. Metallic ores were down 15.8 percent, and grain was down 13.4 percent.
Carloads for the first 46 weeks of 2012—at 13,037,190—were down 3 percent compared to the first 46 weeks of 2011, and intermodal was up 3.4 percent at 10,943,385 trailers and containers.
Estimated ton-miles for the week ending November 17 were down 3.4 percent at 33.9 billion, and were down 2.3 percent on a year-to-date basis at 1,501.0 billion.
About the AuthorJeff Berman, Group News Editor Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman
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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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