Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

Railroad shipping: AAR reports volumes are up for week ending November 26

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
December 02, 2011

Rail traffic continues to positively trend upward, with gains on both the carload and intermodal side for the week ending November 26 according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Carload volume—at 265,304—were up 4 percent annually and behind the week ending November 19, which was at 301,919. Last week’s decline was likely due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The previous weeks were in the 300,000 weekly carload range at 299,591, 298, 465, 307,000, 301, 864, and 303,363, respectively.

Eastern carloads were up 1.8 percent, and out west carloads were down 5.3 percent. On a year-to-date basis, carloads—at 13,710,056—are up 1.8 percent.

Intermodal volumes—at 190,866 trailers and containers—were up 3.7 percent annually. This was behind the week ending November 19 at 243,234, with previous weeks coming in at 244,972, 239,180, and 245,404, respectively. It was also 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.On a year-to-date basis, intermodal is up 5.1 percent at 10,775,044 trailers and containers.

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.

AAR officials recently said that the “containerization of U.S. rail intermodal service continues its upward trend,” explaining that containers accounted for 86.0 percent of U.S. rail intermodal volume in October 2011, down fractionally from September’s 86.1 percent and August’s 86.3 percent. This period, said the AAR, represents a stretch in which never before have containers accounted for such a high percentage of U.S. intermodal traffic.

And at recent industry conferences, shippers, carriers, and logistics services providers sang intermodal’s praises to a large degree, explaining that it is becoming a legitimate alternative to straight over the road trucking, as it is more environmentally friendly, is capable of handling lanes which are considered one-day trips, and that various truckload shippers are working in tandem with railroads on developing intermodal corridors and terminals.

Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, ten were up annually. Motor vehicles and equipment were up 42 percent, and farm products, excluding grain, were down 18.1 percent. 

Estimated ton miles for the week at 31.6 billion were up 4.3 percent and for the year-to-date, they were up 2.8 percent at 1,563.9 billion.

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

Kurt Nagle, president and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities recently voiced his endorsement of this trade legislation

While many auto executives expect more industry recalls in 2015 and 2016, just 8 percent use advanced predictive analytics to help prevent, prepare for, and manage recalls, according to a recent online poll from Deloitte.

Purolator white paper highlights common Canadian shipping mistakes. From failing to appreciate the complexity of the customs clearance process to not realizing that Canada recognizes both French and English as its official languages, U.S. businesses frequently misjudge the complexity of shipping to the Canadian market. This often results in mistakes - mistakes that can come with hefty penalties and border clearance delays, and that can result in lingering negative perceptions among Canadian consumers.

At a certain point, it seems like the ongoing truck driver shortage cannot get any worse, right? Well, think again, because of myriad reasons we could well be in the very early innings of a game that is, and continues, to be hard to watch. That was made clear in a report issued by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), entitled “Truck Driver Analysis 2015.”

Coming off of 2014, which in many ways is viewed as a banner year for freight, it appears that some tailwinds have firmly kicked in, as 2015 enters its official homestretch, according to Rosalyn Wilson, senior business analyst at Parsons, and author of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual State of Logistics (SOL) Report at last week’s CSCMP Annual Conference in San Diego. The SOL report is sponsored by Penske Logistics.


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