AAR reports traffic gains for week ending May 11
Carload volume—at 280,986—was up 0.6 percent annually, and intermodal—at 248,266 trailers and containers—was up 3.9 percent.
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Carload and intermodal volumes were both up for the week ending May 11, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Carload volume—at 280,986—was up 0.6 percent annually and below the week ending May 3 at 283,916 and ahead of the week ending April 27 at 275,638. . Intermodal—at 248,266 trailers and containers—was up 3.9 percent and ahead of the week ending May 4, which came in at 245,678 and also ahead of the week ending April 27 at 247,659.
Total weekly traffic for carloads and intermodal units—at 529,252—was up 2.1 percent annually.
Of the ten main commodity groups tracked by the AAR, five saw annual increases. Petroleum and petroleum products were up 50.8 percent. Grain was down 21.3 percent.
On a year-to-date basis, carloads are down 1.9 percent at 5,244,498 and intermodal is up 4.3 percent at 4,540,879 containers and trailers.
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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.
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