Rail traffic is mixed for the week ending August 13, says AAR
Carload volume—at 292,266—was down 1.42 percent annually and ahead of the week ending August 6 at 287,329.
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Rail traffic was mixed for the week ending August 13, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Carload volume—at 292,266—was down 1.42 percent annually and ahead of the week ending August 6 at 287,329. It was also behind the week ending April 2, which hit 305,905 carloads, marking the highest weekly carload tally since the end of 2008.
Carload volume was flat in the East and down 1.9 percent out West. Carloads on a year-to-date basis are at 9,230,496 for a 2.1 percent annual increase.
Intermodal came in at 235,598 trailers and containers, slightly ahead of the week ending August 6 at 235,568.
Intermodal volumes on a year-to-date basis at 7,222,948 are up 6.5 percent compared to 2010.
Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, 11 were up annually. Metallic ores were up 25.2 percent, and farm products, excluding grain, were down 25.1 percent.
Estimated ton-miles for the week were 33.6 billion for a 0.6 percent annual decrease, and
on a year-to-date basis, the 1,037.1 billion ton-miles recorded were up 3.1 percent.
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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.
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