Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Railroad shipping: AAR reports carload and intermodal volumes remain steady

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
October 08, 2010

While no 2010 weekly volume figures were broken, railroad volumes for the week ending October 2 remained consistent with previously solid weeks, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Carload volume at 299,394 was up 7.7 percent year-over-year and down 10.7 percent compared to 2008. This was down slightly compared to the week ending September 25, which hit 300,908 carloads and the week ending September 18 at 304,679 carloads.

Carload volume in the East was up 1.3 percent year-over-year and down 17.1 percent compared to 2008. Out West, carloads were up 12.2 percent year-over-year and down 6.2 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.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst John Larkin said on a conference call hosted by his firm last month that even with the railroads in recovery mode, current volumes are still roughly 15 percent below the peak, adding that the annual gains occurring in 2010 are against a 2009 which he described as the worst year for railroad traffic since deregulation.

Intermodal, which has been gaining strength for a sustained period, hit 240,252 trailers and containers for the week ending October 2 for a 16.5 yearly increase and a 1.9 percent decline compared to 2008. This fell short of the week ending September 25 at 241,167—a 2010 high.

Container volume at 204,323 was up 17.6 percent and down 5.8 percent compared to 2009 and 2008, respectively, and trailer volume at 32,929 was up 10.2 percent and down 30.6 percent compared to 2009 and 2008, respectively.

An executive at a large intermodal marketing company told LM at last week’s Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Conference that shippers are turning to intermodal more as a cost-effective and efficient alternative to trucking. But he cautioned that as volumes increase, railroads and IMC’s need to focus on maintaining high service levels for shippers.

Year-to-date, total U.S. carload volumes at 11,128,229 carloads are up 7.2 percent year-over-year and down 12.3 percent compared to 2008. Trailers or containers at 8,422,706 are up 14.7 percent year-over-year and down 4.6 percent compared to 2008.

Of the 19 carload commodities tracked by the AAR, 16 were up year-over-year. Metallic ores were up 112.2 percent, and non-metallic minerals were down 9.5 percent.

Weekly rail volume was estimated at 32.9 billion ton-miles, an 8.9 percent year-over-year increase. And total volume year-to-date at 1,224.0 billion ton-miles was up 8.4 percent year-over-year.

 

 

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

The Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP)called on Congress to take a close look at data recently issued by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in its “Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study, ” and focus on reforming Interstate vehicle weight limits for six-axle trucks.

A recent report published by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association makes clear the supply chain challenges consumer packaged goods (CPG) shippers are up against, with some of these challenges, specifically transportation-related ones, gaining traction in recent years.

Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk. Using the precise metrics captured in Armstrong’s most recent study, he'll demonstrate how shippers can measure ROI and plan for the future.

At $2.832 per gallon, the average price per gallon was down 1.1 cents, following drops of 1.6 and 1.1 cents the previous two weeks and a cumulative 8.2 cent cumulative drop over the last six weeks.

The index ISM uses to measure non-manufacturing growth—known as the NMI—was 56.0 in June, which edged out May by 0.3 percent.

Article Topics

News · Railroad · Intermodal · AAR · Carload · All topics

Comments

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