Railroad shipping: AAR reports volumes are mixed for week ending September 17
Carload volume—at 299,914—was down 1.4 percent year-over-year and was up compared to last week’s 278,382.
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Rail traffic was mixed for the week ending September 17, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Carload volume—at 299,914—was down 1.4 percent year-over-year and was up compared to last week’s 278,382 and in line with the previous three weeks, which hit 299,943, 300,521, and 292,266, respectively. It was also behind the week ending April 2, which hit 305,905 carloads, marking the highest weekly carload tally since the end of 2008.
Intermodal volumes at 242,250 trailers and containers are up 0.9 percent compared to last year. On a year-to-date basis, intermodal is up5.5 percent at 8,381,960. 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, 11 were up annually. Petroleum products were up 19.2 percent, and grain was down 17.6 percent.
Carloads year-to-date at 10,711,775 are up 1.7 percent and intermodal volumes at 8,381,960 trailers and containers are up 5.5 percent.
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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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