AAR reports railroad traffic is up for week ending January 29

By ·

Railroad traffic for the week ending January 29 was up again on an annual basis, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Carload volume at 291,147 was up 4.7 percent year-over-year, which is ahead of the week ending January 22 at 282,837. The AAR said that carload volume was up 2.4 percent in the East and up 6.2 percent out West.

Intermodal volumes for the week ending January 29 totaled 222,742 total trailers and containers, which was up 9.2 percent annually. Containers—at 190,140—were up 10.1 percent, and trailers—at 32,602—were up 4.4 percent. This output was far ahead of the week ending January 22, which saw 180,888.

As LM has reported, while volumes are up annually and at recent levels on a sequential basis, it appears the annual comparisons for railroad data will be less impressive than they were in 2010, considering 2010 comparisons were up against a difficult 2009.

But railroad volume appear to be picking up where 2010 left off, and prospects for 2011 look very encouraging, especially in light of recent fourth-quarter and full-year earnings results from multiple Class I carriers, which pointed to continued pricing and volume increases.

Of the 20 commodity groups the AAR tracks, 14 saw annual growth for the week ending January 29, with metallic ores up 17.7 percent and farm products excluding grain up 37.2 percent. Coal was up 4.7 percent. 

Estimated ton-miles for the week ending January 29 were 32.8 billion for a 5.8 percent annual increase, and for the first four weeks of 2011 the 128.2 billion ton-miles recorded are up 9.0 percent.

“On a year-to-date basis, carloads are 8.0% higher vs. last year and intermodal units are 7.4% higher,” wrote Avondale Partners analyst Donald Broughton in a research note. “Coal continues to progress, as normalized utility coal stockpiles, along with improving trends for domestic met coal and export coal should yield weekly coal volumes in the 150-160k range. When combined with the steady rise in intermodal units and the strong volumes seen in chemical and metals, as well as the growing boost from agricultural volumes, we anticipate strong overall volumes moving forward.”

For more stories on railroad shipping, click here.


About the Author

Jeff Berman
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!

Latest Whitepaper
Reduce Order Processing Costs by 80%
Sales order automation software will seamlessly transform inbound emailed and printed purchase orders into electronic sales orders that can be automatically processed into your ERP system with 100% accuracy.
Download Today!
From the June 2016 Issue
In the wildly unstable ocean cargo carrier arena, three major consortia are fighting for market share, with some players simply hanging on for survival. Meanwhile, shippers may expect deployment shifts as a consequence of the Panama Canal expansion.
WMS Update: What do we need to run a WMS?
Supply Chain Software Convergence: Synchronization Realized
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Optimizing Global Transportation: How NVOCCs Can Use Technology to Operate More Profitably
Global transportation isn't getting any easier to manage, especially for non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs). Faced with uncertainties like surcharges—but needing to remain competitive when bidding against other providers—NVOCCs need the right mix of historical data, data intelligence, and technology support to make quick and effective decisions. During this webcast you'll learn how Bolloré Transport & Logistics was able to streamline its global logistics and automate contract management.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Details Key to Cross-border Ease
Ever-changing regulations are making it risky for U.S. companies engaged in cross-border trade...
Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....

Top 25 ports: West Coast continues to dominate
The Panama Canal expansion is set for late June and may soon be attracting more inbound vessel calls...
Port of Oakland launches smart phone apps for harbor truckers
Innovation uses Bluetooth, GPS to measure how long drivers wait for cargo