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Rail News: Intermodal

U.S. carloads plunge in latest week after damaging floods, AAR says


Floods in the Great Plains and Midwest that earlier this month submerged track and damaged bridges had a huge impact on U.S. railroads' traffic. During the week ending June 14, their carloads totaling 324,337 units decreased 4.4 percent and intermodal volume totaling 228,424 units declined 4.8 percent compared with totals from the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads data.

Despite the one-week blip, U.S. roads kept their heads above water with year-to-date carloads. Through 2008's first 24 weeks, they originated 7.8 million carloads, up 0.6 percent year over year. Container and trailer volume totaling 5.3 million units fell 3.1 percent. Total volume reached an estimated 807.0 billion ton-miles, representing a 1.8 percent increase vs. the total from 2007's first 24 weeks.

Canadian railroads had a bad week in the carload department, too. During the period ending June 14, their carloads decreased 7.7 percent year over year to 74,808 units. But their intermodal volume totaling 48,185 containers and trailers rose 1.7 percent.

Through 24 weeks, Canadian railroads originated 1.8 million carloads, down 3.9 percent, and 1.1 million intermodal loads, up 4.5 percent year over year.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 24 weeks, reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads originated 9.6 million carloads, down 0.3 percent, and 6.4 million containers and trailers, down 1.8 percent compared with totals from the same 2007 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/23/2008