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

Carload volume—at 295,426—was down 0.3 percent compared to last year, and intermodal was up 9.8 percent at 230,460 trailers and containers.

By ·

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, 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!

Latest Whitepaper
Efficiency improvements in Track/Trace Enhances Customer Loyalty
Consumer satisfaction with the quality of your products is clearly important, but the service you provide before and after the sale is equally important to any business, but often overlooked as benefiting the bottom line.
Download Today!
Hub Group Resources
Not Your Grandfather's Intermodal
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.
Click here to download
From the October 2016 Issue
Over the past decade we’ve seen a major trend in regards to safety regulations for freight transport within the United States as well as for import and export shippers—that trend is the “international­ization” of rules and regulations.
European Logistics Update: Post-Brexit U.K. moving ahead, but in which direction?
Badcock Home Furniture &more: Out with paper, in with Cloud TMS
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
How API Technology Connects the Transportation Economy
Dynamic decision making is made possible through accurate, actionable data. When combined with progress in data science and the Internet of Things, technology companies that add value to direct-to-carrier APIs and combine them with high-power data analytics will create new concepts for the information economy.
Register Today!
Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....
25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...

2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...