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Rail News: Intermodal

AAR: Carloads, intermodal loads down for U.S. railroads in week No. 34


August continues to be a less-than-stellar traffic month for U.S. railroads. During the week ending Aug. 23, they originated 334,821 carloads, down 0.6 percent, and 230,437 containers and trailers, down 3.1 percent compared with totals from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads.

However, overall volume for the week totaled 35.1 billion ton-miles, inching up 0.3 percent vs. volume from 2007's 34th week.

Through 2008's first 34 weeks, U.S. railroads originated 11 million carloads, up 0.3 percent, and 7.6 million intermodal loads, down 2.9 percent compared with totals from 2007's first 34 weeks. Total volume climbed 1.5 percent to an estimated 1.146 trillion ton-miles.

Canadian railroads fared better on the intermodal side of the traffic equation during the week ending Aug. 23. Their containers and trailers totaled 52,000 units, up 4.7 percent compared with intermodal volume from the same week last year. However, carloads totaling 72,246 units decreased 5.9 percent.

Through 34 weeks, Canadian railroads originated 2.5 million carloads, down 4.2 percent, and 1.6 million containers and trailers, up 4.1 percent year over year.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 34 weeks, reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads originated 13.6 million carloads and 9.2 million intermodal loads, representing a 0.6 percent decrease and 1.8 percent decline, respectively, compared with totals from 2007's first 34 weeks.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/29/2008