Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

Intermodal is up and carloads are down for week ending May 7, says AAR

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
May 13, 2011

Rail traffic was again mixed for the week ending May 7 on a year-over-year basis compared to last year, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Carload volume—at 281,860—was down 2.6 percent annually and also behind the week ending April 30, which hit 295,327 and 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 down 0.1 percent in the East and down 4.2 percent out West. Carloads on a year-to-date basis are at 5,233,086 for a 3.4 percent annual gain.

Intermodal volume—at 232,178 trailers and containers—were up 11.2 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 ahead of the weeks ending April 30 and April 23, which were at 229,677 and 225,668, respectively.

Truckload carriers and shippers have told LM that intermodal business is seeing steady gains by moving freight to intermodal, even though it typically adds at least a day or two to transit times.

Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, 6 were up annually. Grain products were up 19.9 percent, and metals and metal products were up 13.1 percent. Primary forest products were down 19.5 percent, and nonmetallic minerals were down 16.3 percent.

Estimated ton-miles for the week were 31.2 billion for a 1.6 percent annual decrease, and on a year-to-date basis, the 586.8 billion ton-miles recorded are up 4.6 percent.

Despite sequential decreases in recent weeks, the overall outlook for railroad and intermodal volumes remains promising, according to Jon Langenfeld, Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst.

“Recent rail commentary remains optimistic for volume growth above GDP growth rates given secular intermodal growth, an improving industrial environment, and continued economic recovery,” Langenfeld wrote in a research note.

For related articles, please click here

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
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. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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!

Recent Entries

Slowing global trade and a bloated orderbook of large vessel capacity mean that container shipping is set for another three years of overcapacity and financial pain, according to the latest Container Forecaster report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry.

The NRF is calling for 2015 holiday sales to see a 3.7 percent annual gain to $630.5 billion, which comfortably outpaces the ten-year average of 2.5 percent.

On the heels of announcing it plans to acquire freight transportation and logistics services provider Con-way Inc. for $3 billion, XPO Logistics may be considering selling off Con-way Truckload, the company’s truckload arm.

The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) has called on world leaders meeting at the United Nations this week to work together to find solutions to the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe

More than 20 U.S. port authority officials and their key staff, representing seaports from all four U.S. coasts, will gather on October 8 to meet with Congressional leadership to discuss the upcoming surface transportation bill and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ navigation budget.


Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA