Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Rail traffic is slightly mixed on an annual basis for week ending April 16, says AAR

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
April 22, 2011

The American Association of Railroads reported that rail carload and intermodal volumes for the week ending April 16 were mixed on an annual basis.

Carload volume—at 295,426—was down 0.3 percent compared to last year, but was slightly ahead of the week ending April 9, which hit 293,798. 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 down 3.1 percent in the East and up 1.6 percent out West. Carloads year-to-date check in at 4,363,173 for a 4.5 percent year-over-year increase on a year-to-date basis.

Intermodal volume for the week ending April 16 was up 9.8 percent at 230,460 trailers and containers, edging the week ending April 9 at 228,713 and lagging the week ending April 2 at 234,308. Containers and trailers at 3,315,400 year-to-date are 9 percent ahead of last year’s pace.

Increasing fuel prices are serving as a driver for intermodal usage. That was made clear at this week’s NASSTRAC Logistics Conference and Expo, with several truckload carriers telling LM that their intermodal businesses are on the rise, due to shippers seeking cost relief from rising diesel prices in exchange for an extra day or two of transit times.

Dahlman Rose analyst Jason Seidl wrote in a research note that “macro factors and current freight industry dynamics bode well for rail intermodal traffic…[and] rising fuel prices and the likely truckload capacity crunch associated with new safety regulations should cause railroad pricing to become more competitive with truckload rates.”

Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, 11 were up annually. Farm products excluding grain were up 18.6 percent, and metallic ores were up 17.3 percent. Primary forest products were down 25 percent, and nonmetallic minerals were down 22.4 percent. 

Estimated ton-miles for the week were 32.8 billion for a 0.9 percent annual increase, and on a year-to-date basis, the 490.5 billion ton-miles recorded are up 5.7 percent.

For related articles, please click here.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
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. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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!

Recent Entries

Intermodal units, at 278,767 containers and trailers were up 6.7 percent compared to the same week last year and marks the third best week for intermodal ever recorded based on AAR’s data.

LM Group News Editor Jeff Berman recently conducted a wide-ranging interview with Bobby Harris, President and CEO of non asset-based 3PL BlueGrace Logistics about various aspects of the freight transportation market.

It’s small, but senior brass at YRC Worldwide will take it. After nearly seven years of continuing losses in excess of $2.6 billion, the parent of the nation’s second-largest LTL carrier posted a narrow net profit in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.

As was the case for the second quarter, third quarter earnings results for publicly-traded less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers are again strong. Signs of solid earnings results from carriers that have posted earnings to date include tonnage increases, gains in weight per shipment and average daily shipments, higher yield, and revenue per hundredweight.

While the holiday season is known to bring good tidings and cheer to all, it may also come with another thing that is not so pleasant: higher rate freights. That was the thesis of a commentary written by Mark Montague, industry pricing analyst and chief market-watcher for DAT, a Portland, Ore.-based subsidiary of TransCore.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA