Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Weather impacts rail volumes for week ending February 5, says AAR

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
February 11, 2011

Railroad traffic for the week ending February 5 was mixed due to harsh weather conditions impacting certain parts of the country, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Carload volume at 267,682 was flat year-over-year and behind the week ending January 29 which hit 291,147 and the week ending January 22 at 282,837. The AAR said that carload volume was up 5.8 percent in the East and down 3.6 percent out West.

Intermodal volumes for the week ending February 5 tallied 198,249 for a 1.5 percent annual decline. It was also behind the weeks of January 29 and January 22 at 222,742 trailers and containers and ahead of the week ending January 22 at 180,888 trailers and containers.

As LM has reported, while volumes are up annually and at recent levels on a sequential basis, it appears the annual comparisons for railroad data will be less impressive than they were in 2010, considering 2010 comparisons were up against a difficult 2009.

But railroad volume appear to be picking up where 2010 left off, and prospects for 2011 look very encouraging, especially in light of recent fourth-quarter and full-year earnings results from multiple Class I carriers, which pointed to continued pricing and volume increases.

Of the 20 commodity groups the AAR tracks, 8 saw annual growth for the week ending February 5, with metallic ores up 33.5 percent and chemicals up 4.1 percent.

Estimated ton-miles were 30.3 billion for a 1.3 percent annual increase, and on a year-to-date basis, the 158.5 billion ton-miles recorded are up 7.0 percent.

“On a year-to-date basis, carloads are 6.4% higher vs. last year and intermodal units are 5.7% higher,” forward wrote Avondale Partners analyst Donald Broughton in a research note. “Coal continues to progress, as normalized utility coal stockpiles, along with improving trends for domestic met coal and export coal should yield weekly coal volumes in the 150-160k range. When combined with the steady rise in intermodal units and the strong volumes seen in chemical and metals, as well as the growing boost from agricultural volumes, we anticipate strong overall volumes moving.”

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

Congested U.S. port terminals, harbor and over-the-road truck and driver shortages, slower trains and longer rail terminal dwell times due to increased domestic rates have not only disrupted service but also driven intermodal rates and cargo handling costs up sharply.

Southern California shippers are getting a break on container dwell expenses for the next ten days as the Port of Long Beach announced that it had added an extra three days to the time that overseas import containers can remain on the docks without charge.

The long-simmering court battle over whether FedEx Ground’s workers are independent contractors or employees appears headed to the appellate courts—and maybe the U.S. Supreme Court.

Carload volume headed up 4.3 percent to 298,376, and intermodal units, at 273,376 containers and trailers were up 4.8 percent annually.

In light on various service-related freight railroad service issues, the Department of Transportation’s Surface Transportation Board (STB) recently announced it is now requiring Class I railroads to publicly file weekly data reports on service performance. These weekly reports are slated to begin on October 22.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA