Railroad shipping: AAR reports carload and intermodal gains for week ending May 29

As railroad volumes continue to show steady improvement on an annual basis, the week ending May 29 was no exception with carload and intermodal volumes both showing gains, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

By ·

As railroad volumes continue to show steady improvement on an annual basis, the week ending May 29 was no exception with carload and intermodal volumes both showing gains, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Weekly carload volumes—at 286,665—were up 21.9 percent year-over-year and down 8.9 percent from 2008. This fell short of the week ending May 22, which hit 288,114 and the week ending May 15, which hit 290,263. The week ending April 24, which hit 294,218 carloads, is the highest weekly carload level since December 2008, according to the AAR.

Carloads in the West were up 11.1 percent year-over-year and down 7.5 percent compared to 2008. And in the East carloads were up 41.1 percent year-over-year and down 10.9 percent compared to 2008.

In October 2009, the AAR began reporting weekly rail traffic with year-over-year comparisons for the previous two years, due to the fact that the economic downturn was in full effect at this time a year ago, and global trade was bottoming and economic activity was below current levels.

Intermodal container and trailer volumes—at 225,111 trailers and containers—were up 35.5 percent year-over-year and 10.3 percent from 2008, representing the highest weekly total for intermodal loadings since November 2008. This outperformed the weeks ending May 22 and May 15, which hit 215,118 and 218,206 containers and trailers, respectively.

Intermodal container volume was up 37.5 percent year-over-year and 19.4 percent compared to 2008. Intermodal trailer volume was up 25.2 percent year-over-year and down 23.3 percent compared to 2008. 

As LM has reported, recent railroad volume growth could lead to a bright picture for the remainder of 2010, according to industry analysts.

These analysts have cited increased industrial production growth in the form of manufacturing and new orders indices, as well as gradual consumer spending, among other factors, as drivers for these gains.

On a year-to-date basis, total U.S. carload volumes at 5,923,333 carloads are up 7.2 percent year-over-year and down 13.5 percent compared to 2008. Trailers or containers at 4,333,559 are up 11.5 percent year-over-year and down 7.3 percent compared to 2008.

All of the 19 products tracked by the AAR, with three commodities up over 2008 levels. Grain was up 15.5 percent, and metallic ores and metals & products up 285.9 percent and 126.9 percent, respectively.

Weekly rail volume was estimated at 32.0 billion ton-miles, a 22.6 percent year-over-year gain. And total volume year-to-date at 650.0 billion ton-miles was up 8.2 percent year-over-year.


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!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
The View from the New “Single Window”
The single window, officially known as the "International Trade Data System," operates via the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency's Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) platform, and serves as a single point of contact for all trade filings.
Download Today!
From the March 2017 Issue
WMS vendors are stepping up to the plate and developing functionalities and solutions that meet the complex needs of today’s companies. Our top analysts take a peek into these developments and discuss the DC of the future and the software that will support it.
5 Supply Chain Trends Happening Now
2017 Warehouse/DC Equipment Survey: Investment up as service pressures rise
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2017 Trucking Regulations & Infrastructure Update
In this session our panel brings shippers up to date on the state of transportation regulations. Discussion will revolve around regulatory reform, aspects of the federal highway bill and what the transportation landscape looks like in the early days of the Trump administration.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...

2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...