Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


January rail and intermodal volumes show slight gains, says AAR

By Staff
February 06, 2012

Carload and intermodal volumes both saw slight annual gains in January, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

January carloads—at 1,144,800—were up 0.1 percent annually. Intermodal—at 877,637 trailers and containers—was up 1.7 percent compared to January 2011.

“Total rail carload traffic in January was flat compared with last year, due largely to sharp declines in coal and grain traffic,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray in a statement.  “However, a number of other commodity categories — including many that have historically been much more highly correlated with GDP growth than coal and grain—saw large increases in January.  That’s a sign that the underlying economy is probably stronger than you would think if you just looked at the rail traffic totals.” 

The weekly carload average for January was 286,200, and the weekly intermodal average was 219,409, which the AAR said marked the third-highest weekly intermodal average for the month.

Even with relatively slight annual increases, the AAR noted that “the bottom line is the fact that total U.S. carloads actually rose in January, even if just by a small amount, is a signal of the strength of other key commodity categories.”

Of the 20 commodity categories tracked by the AAR, 11 were up in January. Motor vehicles and parts were up 18.3 percent, and metallic ores were up 29.3 percent. Grain was down 15.4 percent and coal was off by 2.4 percent.

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

The PMI, the ISM’s index to measure growth fell 0.8 percent to 52.7 (a PMI of 50 or greater represents growth). PMI growth has been at 50 or higher for 31 straight months (with the overall economy growing for 74 months), and the current PMI is 1.7 percent below the 12-month average of 54.4.

The current status of FedEx’ planned acquisition of Netherlands-based TNT-NV and a provider of mail and courier services and the fourth largest global parcel operator for $4.8 billion, which was initially announced in April, remains in flux, with continued actions being taken by the European Commission.

Panjiva said that the 1 percent sequential growth was in line with typically flat growth from May to June, as higher monthly growth typically takes hold in July and August in advance of the holiday season.

Hackett officials described this new offering as a short-term index that offers up “the sentiment for trade at a glance,” akin to other key economic metrics like the PMI and Consumer and Carrier confidence indices, while providing access to specifically see where a group of economic indicators are in relation to trade for the current month, too.

While many industry analysts contend that distribution centers near U.S. East Coast ports will see a surge of new business after the Panama Canal expansion, real estate experts say this phenomena is already underway.

Article Topics

News · Intermodal · AAR · Railroad Shipping · All topics

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