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Rail News: Intermodal

U.S. railroads on pace to surpass 12 million intermodal loads for first time, AAR says

With two weeks’ worth of traffic left to total in 2006, U.S. railroads are closing in on 12 million intermodal loads — the first time their annual intermodal traffic would surpass that total.

The roads already have broken an intermodal volume record for the fifth-consecutive year and 18th time in the past 20 years, according to the Association of American Railroads. Through 50 weeks, U.S. railroads’ intermodal loads totaled 11.9 million trailers and containers, breaking last year’s record of 11.7 million units and increasing 5.2 percent compared with 2005 data.

Carloads through 50 weeks totaled 16.8 million units, up 1.2 percent, and total estimated volume reached 1.68 trillion ton-miles, up 2.5 percent.

During the week ending Dec. 16, U.S. roads increased carloads 3.7 percent to 336,307 units and boosted intermodal volume 2.4 percent to 240,742 units compared with similar 2005 data.

During the same week, Canadian railroads’ carloads decreased 3.1 percent to 72,033 units while intermodal volume rose 3.2 percent to 44,728 units. Through 50 weeks, the roads originated 3.7 million carloads, down 1.8 percent, and 2.3 million trailers and containers, up 5.1 percent compared with the same 2005 data.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 50 weeks, 13 reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads increased carloads 0.7 percent to 20 million units and boosted intermodal loads 5.1 percent to 14 million units compared with 2005 totals.

Meanwhile, Kansas City Southern de México S.A. de C.V.’s total carload volume decreased 2.7 percent to 570,825 units and total intermodal volume increased slightly to 206,150 units through 50 weeks. During the week ending Dec. 16, the railroad’s total carload volume of 11,391 units increased 1.6 percent and total intermodal volume of 4,571 units rose 28.9 percent compared with similar 2005 data.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/22/2006