Railroad shipping: AAR reports volumes are up for week ending November 5

Intermodal volumes at 239,180 trailers and containers were up 3.5 percent annually.

By ·

Rail traffic was again up for the week ending November 5 according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Carload volume—at 298,465—was up 3.4 percent compared to the same timeframe a year ago and behind the week ending October 29 which hit 307,00 and the previous two weeks, which hit 301,864 and 303,363, respectively.

Eastern carloads were up 1.6 percent, and out west carloads were up 4.5 percent. On a year-to-date basis, carloads—at 12,843,242—are up 1.7 percent.

Intermodal volumes at 239,180 trailers and containers were up 3.5 percent annually, which trailed the week ending October 29 at 245,404 and the previous two weeks at 244,389 and 241,999, 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.

Intermodal volumes of 10,095,972 trailers and containers for the year-to-date are 5.2 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.

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.

This sentiment was similar at this month’s RailTrends conference presented by Progressive Railroading magazine and independent industry analyst Tony Hatch.
Both Class I and short line executives noted at RailTrends that intermodal continues to be a major driver for traffic and volume growth.

“Truckload carriers that provide intermodal service are going to the railroads to work on developing [corridors and related projects like terminals], because shippers are asking for it,” said Hatch at RailTrends. “Intermodal is running at a high level of precision.”

Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, 15 were up annually. Metallic minerals were up 23.2 percent, and farm products excluding grain were down 17.8 percent.

Estimated ton miles for the week at 35.8 billion were up 4.4 percent and for the year-to-date, they were up 2.8 percent at 1,460.4 billion.


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

AAR · Intermodal · Rail · Rail Freight · All Topics
Hub Group Resources
Not Your Grandfather's Intermodal
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.
Click here to download
Latest Whitepaper
The Internet of Things and the Modern Supply Chain
Learn today how the internet of things is transforming supply chain operations.
Download Today!
From the February 2017 Issue
As the new administration sends waves of uncertainly through the global trade community, this could be the best time ever for shippers to build an investment case for GTM. Here are five trends you need to watch if you’re about to put these savvy systems to work
Carrier Consolidation Keeps Shippers Guessing
Getting Value from the Cloud
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Advance your career with the fastest growing logistics certification – APICS CLTD
During this webcast presenters will give an overview of APICS and the new Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) designation. Learn how the CLTD program can help you stay on top of current trends and advance your career.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
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...
Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...