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

Carload volume—at 294,271—was up 1.6 percent annually and ahead of the week ending May 7 at 281,860.

By ·

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, 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!

Latest Whitepaper
FREE White Papers: Dive into the Minds of 1,500 Industrial Buyers
The advent of the Industry 4.0 brought with it the next phase in the digitization of the manufacturing sector.
Download Today!
From the June 2017 Issue
Here are five trends that every shipper­—and potential shipper—must watch as the demand for experienced logistics and supply chain professionals soars.
2017 Rail/Intermodal Roundtable: Volume stable, business steady
Cross-Border Logistics: NAFTA tune-up time
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Women in Logistics: Breaking Gender Roles to Win the War for Talent
In this session you'll hear from a panel of women who are now leading top-level logistics and supply chain operations. The panel will share their success stories as well as advice for women who are now making their way up the ladder.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
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...
The Evolution of the Digital Supply Chain
Everyone is talking about terms like digitization, Industry 4.0 and digital supply chain management,...

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...