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Rail News Home Rail Industry Trends

10/15/2009



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Weekly intermodal volume reaches 10-month high in September, AAR says


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Although U.S. railroads’ intermodal traffic fell 14.6 percent to 993,235 units in September, average weekly intermodal units in the month reached their highest level since November 2008, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

The slight uptick in intermodal traffic might be related to retailers restocking shelves for the upcoming holiday season, AAR officials said in the association’s monthly Rail Time Indicators report and video.

"The data in the October report gives us some indication that better things may be on the horizon," said AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John Gray in a prepared statement. "While some of this activity is seasonal, railroads have taken more than 15,000 cars out of storage between Sept. 1 and Oct. 1.”

However, there was no similarly encouraging development with monthly carloads. In September — when severe Southeast floods disrupted some train moves — U.S. railroads originated 1.38 million carloads, down 14.2 percent compared with September 2008’s count. Coal traffic tumbled 13.3 percent to 645,843 units primarily because of lower natural gas prices and the end of a mild summer, the AAR said.


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