AAR reports railroad traffic is up for week ending January 22
January 28, 2011 - LM Editorial
Railroad traffic for the week ending January 22 was up on an annual basis, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Carload volume at 282,837 was up 1.5 percent compared to the corresponding week last year. This is nearly identical with the week ending January 15, which hit 282,987 carloads. And it is down slightly compared to the week ending January 8 at 285,108 carloads. The AAR said that carload volume was down 2 percent in the East and up 4 percent out West.
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.
Intermodal volumes for the week ending January 22 saw containers come in at 180,888 for a 6.8 percent gain, and trailers hit 32,318 for a 2.8 percent bump for a total of 213,206 trailers and containers for a cumulative 6.2 percent annual gain, which was nearly even with the week of January 15 at 213,486 trailers and containers.
Railroad shippers appear to be optimistic about their growth prospects for 2011, according to the results of a Dahlman Rose Rail Shippers Study.
The study indicated that rail shippers regained confidence during the second half of 2010 and expect their respective businesses to grow at an average rate of 7.7 percent over the next 12 months, which tops the previous of 9 percent for the first quarter of 2010 since the end of the recession, with 52 percent of shippers stating they are more confident in the direction of the economy than three-to-four months ago.
Of the 20 commodity groups the AAR tracks, 11 saw annual growth, with metallic ores up 48.1 percent and metals and products up 20.6 percent.
Estimated ton-miles for the week ending January 22 were 31.9 billion for a 2.6 percent annual increase, and for the first three weeks of 2011 the 95.4 billion ton-miles recorded are up 10.6 percent.
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