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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Weekly intermodal volume average reached record level in June, AAR says


In June, U.S. intermodal traffic totaled 1,009,387 containers and trailers, up 1.3 percent compared with June 2012. The weekly intermodal average of 252,347 units was the highest for any month in history, Association of American Railroads (AAR) officials said in a press release.

"Intermodal rose in June for the 43rd consecutive month, setting a new volume record in the process," said AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John Gray. "Generally, the fall is the peak period for intermodal, so it wouldn't be surprising if further intermodal records were set in the months ahead."

On the flip side of the U.S. traffic equation, carloads originated in June totaled 1,136,719, down 0.3 percent year over year. Only 10 of 20 major commodity categories tracked on a monthly basis by AAR registered gains, led by petroleum and petroleum products (31.7 percent), crushed stone, gravel and sand (12 percent), and motor vehicles and parts (3.3 percent).

Commodity categories that posted declines included grain, down 18.1 percent, grain mill products, down 8.2 percent, and iron and steel scrap, down 8.5 percent. Carloads excluding coal and grain in June rose 3.8 percent.

"Large declines in grain and coal held down June carloads, but some of the more economically-sensitive commodities like autos and crushed stone were up for the month," said Gray.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/10/2013