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AAR reports steady rail traffic

By Staff
June 17, 2011

Rail traffic showed positive growth for the week ending June 10, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Carload volume—at 290,181—was up 0.3 percent over last year, and ahead of the weeks ending June 3 and May 28 at 273,584 and 288,049, respectively. 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 down 0.3 percent in the East and up 0.7 percent out West. Carloads on a year-to-date basis are at 6,674,412 for a 2.9 percent annual increase.

Intermodal volume—at 237,422 trailers and containers was up 6.4 percent annually and ahead of the week ending June 3, which hit 205,565

Intermodal continues to make strides on the domestic side due to fuel price pressure and its ability to provide service comparable to truckload at a more favorable rate, say shippers and analysts.

Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, 11 were up annually. Lumber and wood products were up 17.8 percent and primary forest products were down 14.3 percent.

Estimated ton-miles for the week were 32.1 billion for a 0.6 percent annual increase, and on a year-to-date basis, the 746.7 billion ton-miles recorded were up 4.1 percent.

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Carload volumes were up 2.8 percent at 304,276, and intermodal volume for the week ending August 16 was up 5.4 percent at 270,316 containers and trailers.

Even though this data can be viewed as “old” in the sense that there is not a whole lot new to report about the port labor talks, it does a good job of looking into the mindset of shippers as talks continue.

Company officials said this service will be provided without any type of additional cost for customer shipments traveling from Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana, with expedited services available to customers outside of this area.

FTR says both spot rates and contract rates are heading up in a full capacity environment and with the fall shipping season rapidly approaching, it explained conditions for shippers could further deteriorate.

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Article Topics

News · Rail Freight · Intermodal · AAR · All topics

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