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Railroad shipping: AAR reports mixed volumes gains for week ending October 22

By Staff
October 28, 2011

Rail traffic was again mixed for the week ending October 22, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Carload volume—at 301,864—was down 0.5 percent year-over-year and behind the week ending October 15, which hit 303,363 and the weeks ending October 8 and October 1, which hit 302,500 and 312,170, respectively. The week ending October 1 is the highest weekly carload mark for 2011, according to AAR data.

Eastern carloads were up 0.1 percent, and out west carloads were down 0.9 percent. On a year-to-date basis, carloads—at 12,236,877—are up 1.7 percent, matching last week’s annual carload gain.

Intermodal volumes at 245,404 trailers and containers were up 4.2 percent annually and ahead of last week’s 244,389 trailers and containers and the week ending October 8 at 241,999. It was behind the week ending October 1, which hit 250,864 for the highest weekly total for 2011 and highest weekly tally since week 39 of 2007.

Intermodal volumes of 9,613,018 trailers and containers for the year-to-date are 5.3 percent ahead of last year’s pace. As LM has reported, shippers continue to turn to intermodal as an alternative to trucking movements, as they can see significant fuel savings in exchange for a longer transit time.

Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, ten were up annually. Nonmetallic minerals were up 22.4 percent, and grain was down 25.6 percent.

Estimated ton miles for the week at 36.1 billion were up 0.6 percent and for the year-to-date, they were up 2.7 percent at 1,387.7 billion.

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Even though this data can be viewed as “old” in the sense that there is not a whole lot new to report about the port labor talks, it does a good job of looking into the mindset of shippers as talks continue.

Company officials said this service will be provided without any type of additional cost for customer shipments traveling from Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana, with expedited services available to customers outside of this area.

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