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Rail News: Intermodal

AAR: U.S., Canadian railroads continue to register fewer carloads in December


With one week to go in December — and the year — freight volume remained down for U.S. railroads. During the week ending Dec. 20, their carloads plummeted 16.7 percent to 272,878 units and intermodal volume fell 16.5 percent to 191,814 units compared with totals from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads.

Through they year’s first 51 weeks, U.S. roads originated 16.4 million carloads, down 1.9 percent, and 11.4 million containers and trailers, down 4 percent year over year. Total volume dropped 0.9 percent to an estimated 1.71 trillion ton-miles.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported weekly carloads totaling 59,159 units and intermodal volume totaling 41,086 units, down 24.8 percent and 11.2 percent, respectively, compared with totals from the same week last year. Through 51 weeks, their carloads decreased 6.1 percent to 3.8 million units, but intermodal loads rose 1.9 percent to 2.4 million units.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 51 weeks, reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads originated 20.1 million carloads, down 2.7 percent, and 13.8 million containers and trailers, down 3 percent year over year.

In Mexico, Kansas City Southern de México S.A. de C.V. reported total weekly carloads of 8,408 units, down 16.5 percent, and total intermodal loads of 3,934 units, down 19.3 percent vs. totals from the same 2007 week. Through 51 weeks, the road’s carloads declined 7.7 percent to 514,226 units and intermodal volume increased 6.8 percent to 257,783 units.

Ferrocarril Mexicano S.A. de C.V.’s weekly carloads jumped 29.5 percent to 11,217 units and intermodal volume rose 7.4 percent to 2,014 units vs. last year’s figures. Through 51 weeks, the railroad’s carloads increased 2.9 percent to 633,976 units and intermodal volume was flat at 145,529 units.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/29/2008