Railroad shipping: Carload and intermodal volumes hold steady for week ending June 26, says AAR

More of the same appears to the theme when looking at railroad volumes in recent weeks, with volumes for the week ending June 26 up year-over-year and down compared to 2008, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

By ·

More of the same appears to the theme when looking at railroad volumes in recent weeks, with volumes for the week ending June 26 up year-over-year and down compared to 2008, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).


Weekly carload volumes—at 284,716—were up 11.4 percent year-over-year and down 13.2 percent compared to 2008. This was slightly below the week ending June 19 which came in at 284,913 and fell short to the week ending June 12 at 288,973.

The week ending April 24, which hit 294,218 carloads, is the highest weekly carload level since December 2008, according to the AAR.

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.

Carload volume in the East was up 14.5 percent year-over-year and down 15.9 percent compared to 2008. And out West carloads were up 9.2 percent year-over-year and down 11.1 percent compared to 2008.

Intermodal traffic continued its strong performance—at 227,229 trailers and containers—which was down slightly from the previous week’s 227,985. Traffic was up 20.5 percent year-over-year and down 1.1 percent compared to 2008.

Industry analysts remain optimistic about railroad growth throughout the remainder of 2010. Among the things they have pointed to include increased industrial production growth in the form of manufacturing and new orders indices, as well as gradual consumer spending, among other factors, as drivers for these gains. But even though volumes are slowly recovering, they are still well below previous peak levels.

And volumes are likely to remain strong on a year-over-year basis until at least mid-summer for most of the major carload categories, wrote Avondale Partners analyst Donald Broughton in a research note.

On a year-to-date basis, total U.S. carload volumes at 7,052,186 carloads are up 7.4 percent year-over-year and down 13.4 percent compared to 2008. Trailers or containers at 5,203,606 are up 12.1 percent year-over-year and down 7 percent compared to 2008.

Of the 19 carload commodities tracked by the AAR, 17 were up year-over-year. Metals & metal products were up 75.4 percent, and metallic ores were up 172.2 percent. Showing declines were grain mill products -7.3 percent and primary forest products at -9.9 percent, among others.

Weekly rail volume was estimated at 31.6 billion ton-miles, a 12.1 percent year-over-year increase. And total volume year-to-date at 775.9 billion ton-miles was up 8.5 percent year-over-year.

 


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

Manufacturing · Rail Freight · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Managing Global Transportation: How NVOCCs can operate more profitably
Global transportation isn’t getting any easier to manage. With new rules and regulations to learn, new compliance requirements to adhere to, and new customers and business partners to onboard, navigating the complexities of the global market can be difficult for any company. To fully leverage their global supply chains, firms need a robust, global transportation management system that helps them navigate this ever-changing environment.
Download Today!
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.
From the July 2016 Issue
While it’s currently a shippers market, the authors of this year’s report contend that we’ve entered a “period of transition” that will usher in a realignment of capacity, lower inventories, economic growth and “moderately higher” rates. It’s time to tighten the ties that bind.
2016 State of Logistics: Third-party logistics
2016 State of Logistics: Ocean freight
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Getting the most out of your 3PL relationship
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.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...
Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....

Top 25 ports: West Coast continues to dominate
The Panama Canal expansion is set for late June and may soon be attracting more inbound vessel calls...
Port of Oakland launches smart phone apps for harbor truckers
Innovation uses Bluetooth, GPS to measure how long drivers wait for cargo