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

Information abounds about the growing trend of electric lift trucks and the advantages and disadvantages of the electric solution. Amid all of the information from so many sources, what's the truth about electric lift trucks? This complimentary white paper breaks through the clutter to review why electric lift trucks are gaining in popularity and also to review their challenges, as well as their economic and environmental benefits.

Three weeks after initiating a coordinated series of slowdowns that have mired the major West Coast ports of Tacoma, Seattle, Oakland, Los Angeles and Long Beach, the ILWU has pushed away from the bargaining table.

DHL has released the third edition of its Global Connectedness Index (GCI), a detailed analysis of the state of globalization around the world.

The truck driver shortage is worsening, threatening the trucking industry’s ability to serve the nation’s supply chains. The shortage will almost certainly cause fleets’ costs to increase and shippers’ rate to continue to rise.

The Agriculture Transportation Coalition has asked the Administration to bring in a federal mediator to help resolve the negotiations, and if a strike or lockout occurs, the AgTC advocates the rarely-invoked Taft-Hartley Act.

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