AAR reports mixed carload and intermodal volumes for August 2012

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
September 07, 2012 - LM Editorial

The Association of American Railroads said this week that carload and intermodal volumes for August were again mixed.

August carloads—at 1,461,680—were down 1.4 percent annually. Intermodal—at 1,230,992 trailers and containers—was up 4.3 percent compared to August 2011.

AAR officials pointed out that the average weekly intermodal volume in August of 246,198 represents the second highest average for the month of August, according to their data.
“U.S rail traffic in August was pretty much same song, different verse,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray in a statement. “Weakness in coal carloadings was largely but not entirely offset by increases in carloads of petroleum and petroleum products, autos, lumber, and several other commodities, with intermodal showing continued strength.”

The AAR also reported that as of September 1, 311,226 freight cars were in storage, which represents 3,745 fewer cars than August 1 and is the equivalent to 20.3 percent of the North American fleet.

Various commodities tracked by the AAR were up on an annual basis in August. Petroleum and petroleum products were up 49 percent—or 18,007 carloads, and motor vehicles and parts were up 13 percent—or 8,966 carloads. Coal was down 7.3 percent—or 48,493 carloads, and metallic ores fell 18 percent or 8,757 carloads.

“While rail fundamentals continue to be solid overall, the carriers are likely to face a few headwinds in 3Q12, including rising fuel prices and the 60-day lag effect of fuel surcharges,” wrote Dahlman Rose analyst Jason Seidl in a research note. “On a more macro level, a number of Class Is are now expecting a ‘muted’ peak season, but still ahead of last year.”

For the week ending September 1, the AAR said that carload volumes—at 292,732—were down 3.4 percent annually. Intermodal—at 249,113 trailers and containers—was up 6.5 percent.

And on a year-to-date basis through the first 35 weeks of 2012, U.S. carloads—at 9,890,231—are down 2.4 percent. Intermodal—at 8,226,793 trailers and containers—are up 3.7 percent.



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

Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers, recently said it is opening up the “vault,” so to speak. The vault in this case is making its copious amount of trade data accessible through an Application Programming Interface (API), which enables customers to extract Panjiva’s trade data into their own database.

Freight transportation and logistics services provider Averitt Express recently announced it has rolled out improved transit times for less-than-truckload (LTL) service from the Midwest to Toronto and other cities.

Data issued by the National Retail Federation lowered its 2014 retail sales forecast, due to a slow first six months of the year (and largely negatively influenced by the terrible winter weather), but noted that retail sales are expected to be strong over the next five months to finish the year.

Anne Ferro, a ferocious advocate for greater truck safety and a constant thorn to truck drivers and some unsafe trucking fleets, says she is leaving as administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. No successor has been immediately named.

Data issued by the National Retail Federation lowered its 2014 retail sales forecast, due to a slow first six months of the year (and largely negatively influenced by the terrible winter weather), but noted that retail sales are expected to be strong over the next five months to finish the year.

Article Topics

News · Rail Freight · Intermodal · AAR · All topics

About the Author

Jeff Berman, 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.

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