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AAR Reports Total Weekly Rail Intermodal Volume Sets 2010 Record; Weekly Container Volume Reaches Highest Level on Record

August 22, 2010
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reports that rail intermodal volume on U.S. railroads for the week ending Aug. 14, 2010 was the highest of 2010, with 233,767 total trailers and containers, up 20.8 percent from the same week in 2009, but down 1.4 percent compared with 2008. Weekly container volume, a subset of intermodal, was the highest on record up 22.4 percent compared with the same week in 2009, and up 6.4 percent with the same week in 2008. Trailer volume, the other subset of intermodal, rose 12.3 percent last week compared with the same week in 2009, but fell 31 percent compared with 2008.

In order to offer a complete picture of the progress in rail traffic, AAR reports 2010 weekly rail traffic with comparison weeks in both 2009 and 2008.

Carload traffic continued moderate weekly gains, with U.S. railroads originating 295,948 carloads for the week, up 7.1 percent compared with the same week in 2009, but down 11.3 percent from the same week in 2008.

Sixteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009. Those posting the most significant increases were metallic ores, up 65.4 percent; metals and metal products, up 38.8 percent; and farm products excluding grain, up 37.6 percent. Two commodity groups, farm products excluding grain and metallic ores, also posted increases over 2008.

Carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 6.4 percent from the same week last year, but down 12.8 percent from 2008. In the West, carload volume was up 7.6 percent from the same week last year but down 10.2 percent from two years ago.

For the first 32 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 9,041,726 carloads, up 7.2 percent from 2009, but down 13.1 percent from 2008, and 6,783,820 trailers or containers, up 13.9 percent from 2009, but down 5.7 percent from 2008.

Canadian railroads reported volume of 73,197 cars for the week, up 16.7 percent from last year, and 50,694 trailers or containers, up 18.5 percent from 2009. For the first 32 weeks of 2010, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,311,650 carloads, up 21.1 percent from last year, and 1,480,923 trailers or containers, up 15.2 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 13,990 cars, up 16.5 percent from the same week last year, and 6,925 trailers or containers, up 19.1 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 32 weeks of 2010 was reported as 438,907 carloads, up 20.7 percent from last year; and 206,806 trailers or containers, up 31.7 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 32 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 11,792,283 carloads, up 10.1 percent from last year, and 8,471,549 trailers and containers, up 14.5 percent from last year.

For more information, visit www.aar.org.