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
Reduce Order Processing Costs by 80%
Sales order automation software will seamlessly transform inbound emailed and printed purchase orders into electronic sales orders that can be automatically processed into your ERP system with 100% accuracy.
Download Today!
From the June 2016 Issue
In the wildly unstable ocean cargo carrier arena, three major consortia are fighting for market share, with some players simply hanging on for survival. Meanwhile, shippers may expect deployment shifts as a consequence of the Panama Canal expansion.
WMS Update: What do we need to run a WMS?
Supply Chain Software Convergence: Synchronization Realized
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Optimizing Global Transportation: How NVOCCs Can Use Technology to Operate More Profitably
Global transportation isn't getting any easier to manage, especially for non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs). Faced with uncertainties like surcharges—but needing to remain competitive when bidding against other providers—NVOCCs need the right mix of historical data, data intelligence, and technology support to make quick and effective decisions. During this webcast you'll learn how Bolloré Transport & Logistics was able to streamline its global logistics and automate contract management.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Top 50 U.S. and Global 3PLs 2016: Technology Now the Key Differentiator
Following last year’s merger and acquisition frenzy, the speed of technology implementation by the...
Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....

Top 25 ports: West Coast continues to dominate
The Panama Canal expansion is set for late June and may soon be attracting more inbound vessel calls...
Port of Oakland launches smart phone apps for harbor truckers
Innovation uses Bluetooth, GPS to measure how long drivers wait for cargo