Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


September 2012 carload and intermodal volumes are mixed, says AAR

By Staff
October 05, 2012

Rail carload and intermodal volumes were mixed in September, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) this week.

September carloads—at 1,152,174—were down 3.7 percent—or 43,746 carloads— annually. Intermodal—at 973,715 trailers and containers—was up 2.5 percent—or 24,126 trailers and containers—compared to September 2011.

“September rail traffic is again a mix of good news and bad news,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray in a statement.  “The primary bad news is that coal carloads continue to struggle, due to the various economic and regulatory constraints faced by coal-fired power plants. The good news is that many other key rail traffic categories are offsetting coal’s decline, including petroleum and petroleum products, motor vehicles, crushed stone and sand, and lumber. Intermodal volume has risen for 34 straight months and could very well set a new record this year.” 

Of the 20 major commodities tracked by the AAR, 13 were up on an annual basis in September. Petroleum and petroleum products were up 16.1 percent, and grain carloads were down 18.2 percent, marking the third consecutive month grain was down.

Commodities tracked by the AAR which saw annual gains in September included petroleum and petroleum products up 55.7 percent, crushed stone, sand and gravel up 12.3 percent, and motor vehicles and parts up 5.3 percent.

Commodities seeing annual declines included coal down 12.1 percent, metallic ores down 21.7 percent and waste and nonferrous scrap down 13.3 percent, among others.

For the week ending September 29, the AAR said that U.S. railroads hit 295,243 carloads for a 5.3 percent annual decrease, which was ahead of the 292,644 carloads recorded for the week ending September 22.

Weekly intermodal volume at 257,225 trailers and containers was up 2.5 percent annually and is also the single highest weekly intermodal tally of 2012 and the third highest volume week for intermodal ever recorded by the AAR.

At this week’s Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Conference in Atlanta many shippers told LM that intermodal continues to be a “go to” mode in light of increasing diesel prices, regulations being enforced for motor carriers, and cost savings in exchange for longer transit times.

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

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in March was up 1.1 percent on the heels of a revised 2.8 percent (from 3.1 percent) February decline, with the SA index at 133.5 (2000=100). This is off 0.3 percent from the all-time high for the SA of 135.8 from January 2015 and is up 5 percent annually.

Intermodal volume was up 8.1 percent annually at 280,016 containers and trailers. This outpaced the week ending April 11 at 270,463 and the week ending April 4 at 271,127. AAR said this tally marks the second highest weekly output it has ever recorded as well as the first time container and trailer traffic was higher than carloads for a one-week period.

Ocean cargo carrier service reliability across the three core East-West trades hit a five-month peak in March with an aggregate on-time performance of 64 percent, according to Carrier Performance Insight, the online schedule reliability tool provided by Drewry Supply Chain Advisors.

The Airforwarders Association, which represents more than 360 companies that move air cargo through the supply chain, today applauded an agreement reached by Congressional leaders to advance legislation giving the President authority to conclude key global trade agreements.

Despite great opportunity for growth, the logistics market in Latin America is lagging behind other emerging markets thanks in part to its notoriety for corruption, violence, poor infrastructure and government bureaucracy.

Comments

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