AAR reports mixed volumes for week ending September 21
Carload volume—at 288,160—was down 1.5 percent compared to the same week a year ago, and intermodal was down 3.4 percent annually at 262,897 trailers and containers.
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Carload and intermodal volumes were mixed for the week ending September 21, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Carload volume—at 288,160—was down 1.5 percent compared to the same week a year ago and below the week ending September 14, which hit 296,221, and ahead of the week ending September 7 at 278,594.
Intermodal was down 3.4 percent annually at 262,897 trailers and containers and well below the 296,221 recorded during the week of September 14 and ahead of the 228,899 from the week of September 7.
Total weekly traffic for carloads and intermodal units—at 551,057—was up 0.8 percent annually.
Of the ten main commodity groups tracked by the AAR, six saw annual increases. Petroleum and petroleum products were up 8.0 percent, and grain was down 21.3 percent.
On a year-to-date basis, carloads are down 1.0 percent at 10,643,729, and intermodal is up 3.7 percent at 9,277,911 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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