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

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).

By ·

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, 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!

Latest Whitepaper
Outsourced Transportation Management
All the benefits of owning a fleet without the headache of managing it.
Download Today!
From the August 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service excellence finish line ahead of their competitors? Our readers have cast their votes, and now it’s time to introduce this year’s winners of the coveted Quest for Quality Awards.
BMW Takes the Inland Road to Efficiency
Global Logistics: No Shortcuts to Security
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
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...
2017 Top 50 3PLs: Investment and Consolidation Maintain Traction
The trend set over the past few years for mergers and acquisitions has hardly subsided, and a fresh...

2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...