AAR reports post-Thanksgiving week volumes are up year-over-year

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported that railroad volumes for the week ending December 4 were up on an annual basis. Carload volume at 303,570 was up 6.8 percent compared to the same period in 2009 and were up significantly compared to the 254,121 recorded during Thanksgiving week.

By ·

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported that railroad volumes for the week ending December 4 were up on an annual basis.

Carload volume at 303,570 was up 6.8 percent compared to the same period in 2009 and were up significantly compared to the 254,121 recorded during Thanksgiving week. The week ending December 4 was also up compared to pre-Thanksgiving weeks, including the weeks of November 20 and November 13, which hit 297,990 and 297,269, respectively.

The AAR said that carload volume in the East was up 4.7 percent year-over-year. Out West, carloads were up 8.2 percent year-over-year.

But despite these annual improvements, which have been occurring throughout 2010 in comparison to a 2009 which experts say was the worst year for rail volume since deregulation, these current volumes remain below peak levels.

A research note by Stifel Nicolaus analyst John Larkin noted that rail traffic improvement appears less robust in the fourth quarter than the third quarter on an annual basis although total fourth quarter traffic on a year-to-date basis is 0.2 percent higher than the third quarter on a sequential basis.

“This compares favorably relative to the 1.5% average sequential decline from the 3Q to the 4Q (average of previous seven years),” wrote Larkin. “We attribute this to favorable volumes of heavier carload freight and a more moderate decline in intermodal volume in 4Q10 than what is typical seasonally.”


Intermodal volumes at 235,835 trailers and containers were up 13.8 percent year-over-year for the week ending December 4, which was ahead of the 183,790 recorded during Thanksgiving week and in line with the weeks ending November 20 and November 13 at 235,999 and 232,888, respectively.

The high intermodal mark for 2010 to date is the week ending September 25 at 241,167. Container volume for the week ending December 4 at 197,526 was up 15.3 percent, and trailer volume at 38,309 was up 6.5 percent, according to AAR data.

As LM has reported, domestic intermodal volumes on the container side are continuing to outpace the overall economic recovery in conjunction with intermodal shipments gaining share over other modes of freight transportation, according to a recent report by the Intermodal Association of North America.

Of the 19 carload commodities tracked by the AAR, 13 were up year-over-year and seven posted double-digit gains. Metallic ores were up 64 percent, metals and metal products were up 25.3 percent, and crushed stone, sand, and gravel was up 24.4 percent.

Year-to-date, total U.S. carload volumes at 13,765,857 carloads are up 7.1 percent year-over-year. Trailers or containers at 10,484,071 are up 14.3 percent year-over-year.

Estimated ton-miles for the week ending November 27 came in at 34.5 billion for an 8.2 percent annual gain. Total volume year-to-date at 1,524.7 billion ton-miles was up 8.3 percent year-over-year.


About the Author

Jeff 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

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Hub Group Resources
Not Your Grandfather's Intermodal
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.
Click here to download
Latest Whitepaper
Outsourced Transportation Management
All the benefits of owning a fleet without the headache of managing it.
Download Today!
From the August 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service excellence finish line ahead of their competitors? Our readers have cast their votes, and now it’s time to introduce this year’s winners of the coveted Quest for Quality Awards.
BMW Takes the Inland Road to Efficiency
Global Logistics: No Shortcuts to Security
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Getting the most out of your 3PL relationship
Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...
2017 Top 50 3PLs: Investment and Consolidation Maintain Traction
The trend set over the past few years for mergers and acquisitions has hardly subsided, and a fresh...

2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...