Rail volumes at highest level for year
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) said Thursday that weekly rail traffic posted their highest numbers for 2010 in both rail carloads and intermodal volume for the week ending Aug. 28.
U.S. railroads originated 302,358 carloads for the week, up 5.8 percent compared with the same week in 2009, but down 11.3 percent from the same week in 2008.
Intermodal traffic totaled 237,194 trailers and containers, up 17.1 percent from the same week in 2009, but down 1.2 percent from 2008.
Compared with the same week in 2009, container volume, a subset of intermodal, increased 18.1 percent and trailer volume rose 11.4 percent. Compared with the same week in 2008, container volume increased 7 percent and trailer volume dropped 31.7 percent.
Fifteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009 with significant increases in metallic ores, up 62.2 percent; metals and metal products, up 40.2 percent; and farm product excluding grain, up 33.4 percent. In comparison to 2008, only one carload commodity group, farm products excluding grain, posted an increase.
Carload volume on eastern railroads was up 4.7 percent from the same week last year, but down 12.5 percent from 2008. In the West, carload volume was up 6.6 percent from the same week last year but down 10.5 percent from two years ago.