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

There are so many ways to analyze the state of truckload capacity, and on top of that there is, perhaps, no other facet of freight transportation that is so directly impacted by myriad moving parts, whether it be driver availability, rates, demand, weather, the economy, and, of course, federal regulations, among others.

The ATA said that the annualized turnover rate for large truckload carriers, which it defines as truckload fleets with more than $30 million in revenue, increased 3 percent to an annualized rate of 87 percent in the second quarter.

If you want to meet some of the most ticked-off people on the planet, talk to any trucking industry retiree who received that letter from the Teamsters’ Central States pension plan notifying them of their potential financial haircut coming in retirement.

Global express delivery and logistics services provider DHL introduced a new flight geared towards Michigan-based importers and exporters out of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

With the sinking of the El Faro last week, and the resulting deaths of its entire crew of 33, the viability of the Jones Act is again being called into question.


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

© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA