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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR report: U.S. roads reach weekly intermodal highs again


U.S. railroads have registered their highest weekly intermodal volume for 2010 and highest container count on record for the second-straight week. During the week ending Sept. 25, they originated 241,167 containers and trailers, up 17.3 percent compared with volume from the same week in 2009, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Container volume — which reached a record 206,535 units — increased 19.2 percent and trailer volume rose 7 percent to 34,632 units.

Intermodal volume trends are in line to be “modestly better” than typical seasonal improvements as the traditional peak shipping season has begun, according to Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.’s latest weekly “Rail Flash” report.

“We expect both domestic and international growth to continue given ongoing domestic truckload conversion, rebounding ocean freight import volumes and modest economic growth,” Baird analysts said in the report.

During the week ending Sept. 25, U.S. railroads also originated 300,908 carloads, up 10.7 percent year over year. Seventeen of 19 carload commodity groups registered gains.

Canadian railroads reported weekly volume of 76,556 carloads, up 10.3 percent, and 51,162 intermodal loads, up 14.2 percent year over year. Mexican railroads reported 14,690 carloads, up 24.7 percent, and 8,021 containers and trailers, up 16.9 percent.

Through 2010’s first 38 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads originated 14.1 million carloads, up 9.9 percent, and 10.2 million containers and trailers, up 15.2 percent compared with volumes from the same period last year.

For more AAR traffic data for the week ending Sept. 25 and through 38 weeks, follow this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/1/2010