Rail volumes are mixed for week ending June 9, reports AAR
Carload volume was down 1.7 percent compared to the same week last year and intermodal volumes were up 3.8 percent.
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Rail carload and intermodal volumes were mixed for the week ending June 9, according to data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Carload volume-at 285,413-was down 1.7 percent compared to the same week last year and was ahead of the week ending June 2, which came in at 265,207. Eastern carloads were down 2.5 percent annually, and out west carloads were down 1.2 percent.
Intermodal volumes-at 246,422 trailers and containers-were up 3.8 percent annually and well ahead of the week ending June 2, which hit 213,911.
Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, 10 were up annually. Petroleum products were up 50 percent, and motor vehicles and equipment were up 29.6 percent.
Iron and steel scrap loadings were down 21.2 percent, and coke loadings were down 12.7 percent.
Carloads for the first 22 weeks of 2012—at 6,469,960—were down 3.1 percent compared to the first 22 weeks of 2011, and intermodal was up 3 percent at 5,300,130 trailers and containers.
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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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