Rail volumes are again mixed for week ending August 25, says AAR
Carload volume—at 297,042—was down 0.8 percent annually, and intermodal volumes—at 248,364 trailer and containers were up 5.2 percent annually.
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Rail carload and intermodal volumes were again mixed for the week ending August 25, according to data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Carload volume—at 297,042—was down 0.8 percent annually and ahead of the week ending August 18 at 293,916 and ahead of the week ending August 11 at 289,172. Eastern carloads were down 3.5 percent annually, and out west carloads were up 0.9 percent.
Intermodal volumes—at 248,364 trailer and containers were up 5.2 percent annually and ahead of the week ending August 18 at 247,224 and the week ending August 11 at 243,030.
Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, ten were up annually. Petroleum products were up 55.7 percent, lumber and wood products were up 20.8 percent. Metallic ores were down 17.5 percent.
Carloads for the first 34 weeks of 2012—at 9,597,499—were down 2.4 percent compared to the first 34 weeks of 2011, and intermodal was up 3.6 percent at 7,977,680 trailers and containers.
Estimated ton-miles for the week ending August 25 were flat at 34.6 billion, and were down 1.5 percent on a year-to-date basis at 1,098.4 billion.
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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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