Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

Railroad shipping: AAR reports steady carload and intermodal gains for week ending May 14

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
May 20, 2011

After a few weeks of mixed results, rail traffic saw steady gains for the week ending May 14, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Carload volume—at 294,271—was up 1.6 percent annually and ahead of the week ending May 7 at 281,860. It was slightly below the week ending April 30, which hit 295,327 and ahead of the week ending April 23 at 292,706. It was also behind the week ending April 2, which hit 305,905 carloads, marking the highest weekly carload tally since the end of 2008.

Carload volume was up 1 percent in the East and up 2.1 percent out West. Carloads on a year-to-date basis are at 5,527,357 for a 3.3 percent annual gain.

Intermodal volume—at 231,875 trailers and containers—were up 6.1 percent compared to last year, continuing steady gains being helped, in part, by modal shifts by carriers looking for financial relief from increasing fuel prices. This was behind the week ending May 7 at 232,178 and ahead of the week ending April 30 at 229.

As LM has reported, truckload carriers and shippers are moving more freight via intermodal, even though it typically adds at least a day or two to transit times.

Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, ten were up annually. Metallic ores were up 17.5 percent, and grain was up 14.2 percent. Primary forest products were down 13.6 percent, and farm products, excluding grain, were down 13 percent.

Estimated ton-miles for the week were 32.6 billion for a 0.8 percent annual increase, and on a year-to-date basis, the 619.5 billion ton-miles recorded are up 26.8 percent.

A research note by Dahlman Rose analyst Jason Seidl noted that the railroad industry is benefiting from an “ongoing economic recovery, intermodal growth, rising fuel prices, aggressive capital investments, and well-capitalized balance sheets.”

Click here for more stories on railroad shipping.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
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. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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!

Recent Entries

The NRF is calling for 2015 holiday sales to see a 3.7 percent annual gain to $630.5 billion, which comfortably outpaces the ten-year average of 2.5 percent.

On the heels of announcing it plans to acquire freight transportation and logistics services provider Con-way Inc. for $3 billion, XPO Logistics may be considering selling off Con-way Truckload, the company’s truckload arm.

The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) has called on world leaders meeting at the United Nations this week to work together to find solutions to the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe

More than 20 U.S. port authority officials and their key staff, representing seaports from all four U.S. coasts, will gather on October 8 to meet with Congressional leadership to discuss the upcoming surface transportation bill and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ navigation budget.

Companies used to compete on price and service. The future of supply chain, according to Steve Melnyk, is culture. In fact, innovators like Apple, Google, and Unilever are already leading because of their cultures. Your company can too.


Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA