Posts Tagged ‘freight car loadings’

Intermodal Continued to Grow in February

March 9, 2018

Intermodal traffic continues to grow at U.S. Railroads, the Association of American Railroads reported this week.

The railroads during February carried 1,104,001 containers and trailers, an increase of 6.9 percent over February 2017’s volume.

The AAR said that during February carload volume slipped 0.3 percent to 1,028,141 units.

For the month U.S. railroads reported a combined 2,132,142 carloads and intermodal units, marking a 3.3 percent increase over last year.

Nine of the 20 carload commodities that AAR tracks each month logged carload gains in February compared with the same month in 2017. Those included metallic ores, up 19.4 percent; crushed stone, sand and gravel shipments, up 7.5 percent; and chemicals, up 3.4 percent.

Commodities that saw declines included coal, down 1.7 percent; grain, down 5.3 percent; and motor vehicles and parts, down 4.5 percent.

“Rail carloads in February, like in many other recent months, were held back by declines in coal, grain, and motor vehicles,” said AAR Senior Vice President John Gray in a news release. “Declines in those categories are unfortunate, but they don’t reflect general weakness in the economy. Excluding them, carloads were up a reasonably solid 2.1 percent in February.”

Gray said February was the best month ever for carloads of chemicals and the second best for intermodal volume.

“While these are good signs for the broader economy going forward, they are potentially compromised by the uncertainty created by recent developments in trade policy,” he said.

Freight Volume Fell in January

February 4, 2016

The first month of 2016 featured a replay of 2015 with U.S. railroads doing fine with intermodal traffic, but seeing disappointing volumes for carload freight.

The January 2016 report from the Association of American Railroads said that total carload traffic for the month totaled 968,042 carloads, down 16.6 percent or 192,747 from January 2015. U.S. railroads also originated 1,039,621 containers and trailers in January 2016, up 3.4 percent or 34,523 units from the same month last year.

AARCombined U.S. carload and intermodal originations for the month were 2,007,663, which was down 7.3 percent or 158,224 carloads and intermodal units from January 2015.

“Intermodal was solid in January, but carload volumes weren’t what railroads were hoping for,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “By all accounts, rail service right now is excellent, but volume just isn’t there.”

Four of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw gains compared with January 2015.

This included miscellaneous carloads (up 7,409 carloads), chemicals (up 2,615 carloads), and motor vehicles and parts (up 2,435 carloads).

Falling in January 2016 from January 2015 were coal (down 150,658 carloads), petroleum and petroleum products (down 12,037 carloads); and crushed stone, gravel, and sand (down 8,475 carloads).

Excluding coal, carloads were down 5.9 percent or 42,089 carloads from January 2015.

“At some point, the problems currently plaguing the energy and manufacturing sectors—low oil prices, a strong dollar, uncertainties in emerging markets—will sort themselves out. When that happens, railroads will be positioned to provide safe, reliable service,” Gray said.

AAR Reports April Carloadings Fell Slightly

May 8, 2015

April freight carloadings fell, but that was somewhat offset by a rise in intermodal traffic.

The Association of American Railroads said April carloadings were 1.4 million, a drop of 5.3 percent or 78,712 carloads from April 2014.

However, U.S. railroads originated 1.3 million containers and trailers in April 2015, up 5.1 percent or 67,153 units from April 2014.

Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations were 2.7 million, down 0.4 percent or 11,559 carloads and intermodal units from April 2014.

In April 2015, five of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with April 2014.

This included metallic ores, up 43.3 percent or 9,838 carloads; grain mill products, up 2.3 percent or 1,124 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, up 0.8 percent or 733 carloads. Commodities that saw declines in April 2015 from April 2014 included coal, down 11.1 percent or 63,306 carloads; primary metal products, down 16.9 percent or 9,256 carloads; and grain, down 3.7 percent or 3,910 carloads.

“The federal government recently announced that its initial estimate of first quarter GDP growth was just 0.2 percent. Based on rail traffic in April, we aren’t seeing a surge in economic activity to start the second quarter,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “Railroad coal traffic is suffering from reduced electricity generation from coal and lower coal exports, while rail volumes for a number of other commodities are down due to general economic weakness. We hope that turns around.

“Intermodal, on the other hand, is doing very well, as large intermodal-related investments and service improvements are paying off with record volumes,”

Total U.S. carload traffic for the first four months of 2015 was 4.7 million carloads, down 1.4 percent or 68,367 carloads, while intermodal containers and trailers were 4.4 million units, up 1.6 percent or 69,588 containers and trailers when compared to the same period in 2014.

For the first four months of 2015, total U.S. rail traffic volume was 9. 1 million carloads and intermodal units, up 0.01 percent or 1,221 carloads and intermodal units from the same point the previous year.

Intermodal Tops Carload Traffic for First Time

April 24, 2015

Intermodal traffic on U.S. railroads topped carload traffic last week, which the Association of American Railroads said was the first time that that had occurred.

The AAR reported that for the week ending on April 18 that carload traffic was 276,416, a decline of 4.9 percent, while intermodal volume totaled 280,016 containers and trailers, up 8.1 percent compared with the same week in 2014.

It was the second highest week on record for intermodal units, AAR officials said in a news release. Total U.S. freight traffic was 556,432 carloads and intermodal units, up 1.2 percent for the week compared with a year ago.

The AAR reports said that for the first 15 weeks of the year, total combined traffic on U.S. railroads was 8 million carloads and intermodal units, up 0.1 percent.

2014 Rail Traffic Was Highest Since 2007

January 12, 2015

Rail freight traffic in 20014 finished the year at levels not seen since 2007 the Association of American Railroads reported last week.

AAR said that total combined traffic for 2014 on U.S. railroads was 28,673,776 carloads, containers, and trailers, up 1,233,184 units or 4.5 percent over 2013 and the highest annual total since 2007.

U.S rail carloads were 15,176,835 in 2014, up 3.9 percent or 567,554 carloads over 2013 and the highest total carloads since 2008.

U.S. rail intermodal volume totaled record 13,496,941 containers and trailers in 2014, up 5.2 per cent or 665,630 units over the previous record set in 2013.

In 2014, 18 of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked annually by AAR saw increases on U.S. railroads compared with 2013.

Categories with gains included: grain, up 125,954 carloads or 13.5 percent; crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 122,567 carloads or 11.6 percent; petroleum and petroleum products, up 90,185 carloads or 12.7 percent; and coal, up 55,554 carloads or 1 percent.

During December 2014, U.S. railroads originated 1,444,450 carloads, up 118,427 carloads or 8.9 percent compared with December 2013; the largest year-over-year monthly percent increase for total carloads in four years.

U.S. rail intermodal originations totaled 1,188,364 containers and trailers in December 2014, up 42,815 carloads or 3.7 percent over December 2013, continuing a 5-year trend in which year-over-year monthly intermodal volume rose.

“2014 was a challenging year for America’s freight railroads as they responded to traffic surges and shifts in traffic patterns,” said AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John Gray in a news release. “This (2015) will be another busy year as the economy continues to grow and the nation’s railroads work to be responsive, flexible and efficient for their customers.”

U.S. Freight Traffic Ended 2014 on Upswing

January 7, 2015


North American freight carload traffic for the week ending Dec. 27, 2014, rose 9.2 percent over the comparable week in 2012, the Association of American Railroads reported.

The U.S. intermodal volume rose 5.4 percent while total combined U.S. rail traffic notched a 7.4 percent increase.

Nine of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR measures on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2013, led by motor vehicles and parts, up 41.6 percent, nonmetallic minerals, up 26.3 percent, and coal, up percent. Forest products fell 2.5 percent.

Canadian freight carload traffic for the week ending Dec. 27 rose 18.7 percent while Mexican freight carload traffic for the week rose 23.4 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the 52 weeks of 2014 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 3.6 percent measured against comparable 2013 figures. Combined North American intermodal volume for 2014 saw a 5.4 percent increase.