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

Last week, the United States Department of Transportation took further steps to address various issues identified in recent train accidents involving crude oil and ethanol shipped by rail. The announcement was made by DOT with other DOT agencies, including the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

Logistics Management Group News Editor Jeff Berman had an opportunity to interview Derek Leathers, President and Chief Operating Officer of Werner Enterprises, at this month's NASSTRAC Shippers Conference and Transportation Expo in Orlando. They discussed various aspects of the truckload market, including prices, fuel, and regulations.

During this webcast our presenters will apply the findings of the 23rd Annual Trends & Issues in Transportation and Logistics Study to the world of shipper-carrier decision making. They'll examine the primary aspects that will influence the future direction for shipper-carrier decision-making.

For February, the month for which most recent data is available, the SCI dropped to -1.0 from January’s 2.6, with FTR explaining that the short term positive impact from one-time adjustments for rapidly dropping diesel prices and the suspension of the 2013 motor carriers hours-of-service expires later this year.

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in March was up 1.1 percent on the heels of a revised 2.8 percent (from 3.1 percent) February decline, with the SA index at 133.5 (2000=100). This is off 0.3 percent from the all-time high for the SA of 135.8 from January 2015 and is up 5 percent annually.

Comments

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