March 2013 rail and intermodal volumes are mixed, says AAR

By Staff
April 05, 2013 - LM Editorial

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported that carload and intermodal volumes were mixed in March.

March carloads—at 1,117,427—were down 5,969 carloads or 0.5 percent annually. Intermodal—at 933,028 trailers and containers—was up 4,859 units or 0.5 percent compared to March 2012.

Of the 10 commodities tracked by the AAR, seven saw annual gains in March. Petroleum and petroleum products were up 54.3 percent or 19,295carloads, and crushed stone, sand, and gravel were up 11.9 percent or 8,380 carloads. Grain was down 20.1 percent or 16,971 carloads, and coal was down 2 percent or 8,963 carloads.

“U.S. rail traffic continues to mirror the overall economy:  not great, not terrible, anticipating a better future,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray in a statement.  “Petroleum and petroleum products continue to lead traffic gains, while coal and grain have seen better days.  Intermodal volume in March was up just 0.5 percent over last year, but it was still the highest-volume March in history and built on even stronger gains earlier in the quarter.”

For the week ending March 30, the AAR reported that carloads—at 281,367—were down 1.9 percent annually. This outpaced the previous three weeks at 278,738, 280,624, and 276,698, respectively.

Intermodal for the week ending March 30 came in at 233,587 and was down 3.8 percent annually. This was slightly below the 235,641 from the week ending March 23, ahead of the 228,806 recorded during the week of March 16 and ahead of the 235,174 from the week ending March 9.

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

As was the case a month ago, the Global Port Tracker report from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and maritime consultancy Hackett Associates is calling for annual import cargo volume gains at United States ports, as retailers gear up for the holiday season.

More than nine months after saying it was not for sale, Long Beach Calif.-based non asset-based third-party logistics (3PL) services provider UTi Worldwide has apparently changed its tune, with the company saying it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Denmark-based global 3PL DSV for $1.35 billion and $7.10 per share.

September carloads—at 1,417,750—were down 4.9 percent—or 72,597 carloads— annually, and intermodal—at 1,365,980 trailers and containers—was up 1.2 percent—or 16,272 trailers and containers.

Slowing global trade and a bloated orderbook of large vessel capacity mean that container shipping is set for another three years of overcapacity and financial pain, according to the latest Container Forecaster report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry.

The NRF is calling for 2015 holiday sales to see a 3.7 percent annual gain to $630.5 billion, which comfortably outpaces the ten-year average of 2.5 percent.

Article Topics

News · Intermodal · AAR · carload · 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.


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

© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA