March 2013 rail and intermodal volumes are mixed, says AAR

March carloads—at 1,117,427—were down 5,969 carloads or 0.5 percent annually. Intermodal—at 933,028 trailers and containers—was up 4,859 units or 0.5 percent compared to March 2012.

By ·

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported that carload and intermodal volumes were mixed in March.

March carloads—at 1,117,427—were down 5,969 carloads or 0.5 percent annually. Intermodal—at 933,028 trailers and containers—was up 4,859 units or 0.5 percent compared to March 2012.

Of the 10 commodities tracked by the AAR, seven saw annual gains in March. Petroleum and petroleum products were up 54.3 percent or 19,295carloads, and crushed stone, sand, and gravel were up 11.9 percent or 8,380 carloads. Grain was down 20.1 percent or 16,971 carloads, and coal was down 2 percent or 8,963 carloads.

“U.S. rail traffic continues to mirror the overall economy:  not great, not terrible, anticipating a better future,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray in a statement.  “Petroleum and petroleum products continue to lead traffic gains, while coal and grain have seen better days.  Intermodal volume in March was up just 0.5 percent over last year, but it was still the highest-volume March in history and built on even stronger gains earlier in the quarter.”

For the week ending March 30, the AAR reported that carloads—at 281,367—were down 1.9 percent annually. This outpaced the previous three weeks at 278,738, 280,624, and 276,698, respectively.

Intermodal for the week ending March 30 came in at 233,587 and was down 3.8 percent annually. This was slightly below the 235,641 from the week ending March 23, ahead of the 228,806 recorded during the week of March 16 and ahead of the 235,174 from the week ending March 9.


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!

Article Topics

AAR · Carload · Intermodal · All Topics
Hub Group Resources
Not Your Grandfather's Intermodal
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.
Click here to download
Latest Whitepaper
The View from the New “Single Window”
The single window, officially known as the "International Trade Data System," operates via the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency's Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) platform, and serves as a single point of contact for all trade filings.
Download Today!
From the March 2017 Issue
WMS vendors are stepping up to the plate and developing functionalities and solutions that meet the complex needs of today’s companies. Our top analysts take a peek into these developments and discuss the DC of the future and the software that will support it.
5 Supply Chain Trends Happening Now
2017 Warehouse/DC Equipment Survey: Investment up as service pressures rise
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2017 Trucking Regulations & Infrastructure Update
In this session our panel brings shippers up to date on the state of transportation regulations. Discussion will revolve around regulatory reform, aspects of the federal highway bill and what the transportation landscape looks like in the early days of the Trump administration.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...

2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...