Executive Briefings

Moderate Gains in Weekly Rail Intermodal Traffic, But Blizzards Have Negative Impact

U.S. railroads posted moderate gains in weekly rail intermodal traffic for the week ending Dec. 18, 2010, originating 220,187 trailers and containers, up 5 percent compared with the same week in 2009, according to the Association of American Railroads.  Container volume increased 4.9 percent and trailer volume was up 5.2 percent. Rail carload traffic for the week totaled 271,709 carloads, flat when compared with the same week last year. The effects of blizzards throughout the Midwest were felt in weekly traffic numbers on U.S. railroads.

Twelve of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009. Commodities posting double digit gains in loadings included: farm products excluding grain, up 46.5 percent; metals and products, up 16.9 percent; lumber and wood products, up 15.6 percent; stone, clay and glass products, up 14.5 percent; and coke, up 12 percent.  Commodities reporting double digit declines were non-metallic minerals, down 24.6 percent; motor vehicles and equipment, down 17 percent; and primary forest products, down 10.3 percent.

Carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 11.8 percent compared with last year. In the West, carload volume was up 7.9 percent compared with the same week in 2009.

For the first 50 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 14,323,957 carloads, up 7 percent from last year, and 10,938,193 trailers or containers, up 14.1 percent from the comparison week in 2009.

Canadian railroads reported volume of 71,009 cars for the week, up 8.5 percent from last year, and 43,782 trailers or containers, up 4.5 percent from 2009. For the first 50 weeks of 2010, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,661,924 carloads, up 16.8 percent from last year, and 2,369,635 trailers or containers, up 15.5 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 13,951 cars, down .3 percent from the same week last year, and 6,738 trailers or containers, up 7 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 50 weeks of 2010 was reported as 688,491 carloads, up 18.1 percent from last year; and 342,253 trailers or containers, up 22.6 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 50 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 18,674,372 carloads, up 9.2 percent from last year, and 13,650,081 trailers and containers, up 14.6 percent from last year.

Source: Association of American Railroads

U.S. railroads posted moderate gains in weekly rail intermodal traffic for the week ending Dec. 18, 2010, originating 220,187 trailers and containers, up 5 percent compared with the same week in 2009, according to the Association of American Railroads.  Container volume increased 4.9 percent and trailer volume was up 5.2 percent. Rail carload traffic for the week totaled 271,709 carloads, flat when compared with the same week last year. The effects of blizzards throughout the Midwest were felt in weekly traffic numbers on U.S. railroads.

Twelve of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009. Commodities posting double digit gains in loadings included: farm products excluding grain, up 46.5 percent; metals and products, up 16.9 percent; lumber and wood products, up 15.6 percent; stone, clay and glass products, up 14.5 percent; and coke, up 12 percent.  Commodities reporting double digit declines were non-metallic minerals, down 24.6 percent; motor vehicles and equipment, down 17 percent; and primary forest products, down 10.3 percent.

Carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 11.8 percent compared with last year. In the West, carload volume was up 7.9 percent compared with the same week in 2009.

For the first 50 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 14,323,957 carloads, up 7 percent from last year, and 10,938,193 trailers or containers, up 14.1 percent from the comparison week in 2009.

Canadian railroads reported volume of 71,009 cars for the week, up 8.5 percent from last year, and 43,782 trailers or containers, up 4.5 percent from 2009. For the first 50 weeks of 2010, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,661,924 carloads, up 16.8 percent from last year, and 2,369,635 trailers or containers, up 15.5 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 13,951 cars, down .3 percent from the same week last year, and 6,738 trailers or containers, up 7 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 50 weeks of 2010 was reported as 688,491 carloads, up 18.1 percent from last year; and 342,253 trailers or containers, up 22.6 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 50 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 18,674,372 carloads, up 9.2 percent from last year, and 13,650,081 trailers and containers, up 14.6 percent from last year.

Source: Association of American Railroads