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Carloads are down and intermodal is up for week ending October 6, says AAR

By Staff
October 12, 2012

Rail carload and intermodal volumes were mixed for the week ending October 6, according to data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Carload volume—283,440—was down 6.3 percent compared to the same week a year ago and was below the week ending September 29 at 295,243 and the week ending September 22 at 292,644.

Eastern carloads were down 7.9 percent annually, and out west carloads were down 5.3 percent.

Intermodal volumes—at 251,113 trailers and containers were up 3.8 percent annually and below the week ending September 29, which hit 257,225 trailers and containers and currently stands as the single highest weekly intermodal tally of 2012 and the third highest volume week for intermodal ever recorded by the AAR.

At last week’s Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Conference in Atlanta many shippers told LM that intermodal continues to be a “go to” mode in light of increasing diesel prices, regulations being enforced for motor carriers, and cost savings in exchange for longer transit times.

Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, ten were up annually. Petroleum products were up 46.1 percent, and farm products excluding grain were up 30 percent. Coal was down 18.1 percent.

Carloads for the first 40 weeks of 2012—at 11,325,845—were down 2.6 percent compared to the first 40 weeks of 2011, and intermodal was up 3.7 percent at 9,462,377 trailers and containers.

Estimated ton-miles for the week ending October 6 were down 5.7 percent at 33.3 billion, and were down 2.2 percent on a year-to-date basis at 1,300.1 billion.

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