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Rail News: Intermodal

U.S., Canadian roads register fewer carloads in December's second week, AAR says


December’s second week wasn’t any better for U.S. railroads than the first. During the week ending Dec. 13, their carloads tumbled 9.3 percent to 292,434 units and intermodal volume fell 11.6 percent to 211,354 units compared with totals from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads.

Through 2008’s first 50 weeks, U.S. roads originated 16.1 million carloads, down 1.7 percent, and 11.2 million containers and trailers, down 3.8 percent year over year. Volume totaled an estimated 1.68 trillion ton-miles, representing a 0.6 percent decline vs. the same 2007 period.

Canadian railroads had a similar experience during the week ending Dec. 13. Their carloads plummeted 18.1 percent to 62,155 units and intermodal volume dropped 14.4 percent to 41,545 units compared with totals from the same week last year. Through 50 weeks, Canadian railroads originated 3.7 million carloads, down 5.7 percent, and 2.4 million containers and trailers, up 2.2 percent year over year.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 50 weeks, reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads originated 19.8 million carloads, down 2.4 percent, and 13.6 million intermodal loads, down 2.8 percent.

Meanwhile, Kansas City Southern de México S.A. de C.V. (KCSM) reported 8,602 total carloads for the year’s 50th week, representing a 17 percent year-over-year decline. The road’s intermodal volume dipped 1.3 percent to 5,041 units. Ferrocarril Mexicano S.A. de C.V.’s (Ferromex) weekly carloads jumped 23.7 percent to 11,987 units, but intermodal volume decreased 3.6 percent to 2,460 units.

Through 50 weeks, KCSM’s carloads totaled 505,818 units, down 7.5 percent, and intermodal volume totaled 253,849 units, up 7.3 percent compared with totals from the same 2007 period. Ferromex’s carloads rose 2.5 percent to 622,759 units, but intermodal loads decreased 0.1 percent to 143,515 units.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/22/2008