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!

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
The Cloud Supply Chain Data Network
Understanding the Power of a Shared Online Network to Connect Global Partners and Achieve High Data Quality Levels
Download Today!
From the November 2016 Issue
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that could successfully combine transportation services and technology capabilities under one roof.
Warehouse & DC Operations Survey: Ready to confront complexity
2016 Quest for Quality Awards Dinner
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Digital Evolution: Streamlining Logistics and Supply Chain Operations
In this FREE virtual conference we'll define the challenges facing operations and offer solutions designed to create dynamic, automated networks that offer seamless communication, improved collaborative third-party relationships, and the ability to respond to changes at a moment's notice.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...
Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....

25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...
2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...