November rail and intermodal volumes show annual gains, says AAR

November carloads—at 1,476,635—were up 2.3 percent annually, marking the largest annual gain since last March.

By ·

Both carload and intermodal volumes saw annual gains in November, according to data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

November carloads—at 1,476,635—were up 2.3 percent annually, marking the largest annual gain since last March. And intermodal—at 1,162,249 trailers and containers—was up 3.8 percent compared to November 2010. Both categories were also up sequentially, ahead of October’s 1,215,627 carloads and 975,566 trailers and containers.

“In November, U.S. rail carload traffic saw its highest year-over-year percentage increase in eight months, and year-over-year intermodal traffic grew for the 24th straight month,” said AAR Senior Vice President John Gray in a statement. “There are still clearly a lot of things that aren’t right with the economy, but we hope this improvement in rail traffic is a sign that the pace of economic growth is increasing.” 

The weekly carload average for November was 295,327, which was shy of October’s 303,907. While the average declined sequentially, carloadings increased every week in November, due in part to a number of trucking carriers pushing containerized loads onto rail for portions of their moves to reduce the impact of the driver shortage and tighter truck capacity, according to analysis by Rosalyn Wilson, author of the annual CSCMP State of Logistics report in the most recent Cass Freight Index report.

The weekly intermodal average was 232,450. AAR officials said that marks the third highest intermodal weekly average for any November in history.

At a time when freight transportation volumes are primarily showing flat or modest growth levels, intermodal still is showing very strong growth prospects, with the very likely possibility that the drivers for future intermodal gains are very promising, according to Class I railroad executives.

On a year-to-date basis through November, carloads and intermodal volumes at 14,021,412 and 11,019,041 are up 1.8 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

Of the 20 commodities tracked by the AAR, 13 were up year-over-year in November.


About the Author

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. Contact Jeff Berman

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
Latest Whitepaper
The Internet of Things and the Modern Supply Chain
Learn today how the internet of things is transforming supply chain operations.
Download Today!
From the February 2017 Issue
As the new administration sends waves of uncertainly through the global trade community, this could be the best time ever for shippers to build an investment case for GTM. Here are five trends you need to watch if you’re about to put these savvy systems to work
Carrier Consolidation Keeps Shippers Guessing
Getting Value from the Cloud
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Advance your career with the fastest growing logistics certification – APICS CLTD
During this webcast presenters will give an overview of APICS and the new Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) designation. Learn how the CLTD program can help you stay on top of current trends and advance your career.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
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...
Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...