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
New Supply Chain Technology Best Practices
New breakthrough developments, such as drones and driverless vehicles, seem to be everywhere.
Download Today!
From the October 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
A leading distributor of professional salon products in the U.S. forms unique partnerships with its key LTLs to lower transport costs, reduce its carbon footprint and improve service to its 565 store locations.
Q4 2017 Rail/Intermodal Roundtable: Improvements apparent; work remains
LM Viewpoint: Collaboration, Now more than ever
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
The State of the Rail/Intermodal Markets
In this webinar our panel will discuss the new service challenges facing rail/intermodal providers and offer practical advice for how shippers can keep efficiency high and costs down.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
SalonCentric: One Beautiful Network
A leading distributor of professional salon products in the U.S. forms unique partnerships with its...
2017 Alliance Awards: Recognizing outstanding supply chain partnerships
In an era where effective supply chain collaboration is both highly valued and elusive, Logistics...

26th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends: Transportation at Digital Speed
While a majority of companies strongly agree that transportation is a strategically important...
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...