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Weekly Rail Intermodal Volume Sets 2010 Record; Container Volume Sets New All-Time Record

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reports rail intermodal volume on U.S. railroads for the week ending Aug. 21, 2010 set a new 2010 record for the second consecutive week, with 236,404 total trailers and containers, up 22.4 percent from the same week in 2009, and up 2.6 percent compared with 2008. Weekly container volume, a subset of intermodal, was the highest on record, also for the second consecutive week, up 24.2 percent compared with the same week in 2009, and up 11.5 percent with the same week in 2008. Trailer volume, the other subset of intermodal, rose 12.4 percent last week compared with the same week in 2009, but fell 30.5 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 296,634 carloads for the week, up 6.2 percent compared with the same week in 2009, but down 11 percent from the same week in 2008.

Fourteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009. Those posting the most significant increases were metallic ores, up 54.6 percent, and metals and metal products, up 43 percent. All 19 carload commodity groups were down in comparison to 2008.

Carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 6.1 percent from the same week last year, but down 14 percent from 2008. In the West, carload volume was up 6.2 percent from the same week last year but down 8.9 percent from two years ago.

For the first 33 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 9,338,360 carloads, up 7.1 percent from 2009, but down 13 percent from 2008, and 7,020,224 trailers or containers, up 14.2 percent from 2009, but down 5.4 percent from 2008.

Canadian railroads reported volume of 71,033 cars for the week, up 10.5 percent from last year, and 50,999 trailers or containers, up 21.7 percent from 2009. For the first 33 weeks of 2010, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,382,683 carloads, up 20.8 percent from last year, and 1,531,922 trailers or containers, up 15.4 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 13,622 cars, up 19.5 percent from the same week last year, and 7,090 trailers or containers, up 12.6 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 33 weeks of 2010 was reported as 452,529 carloads, up 20.7 percent from last year; and 213,896 trailers or containers, up 31 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 33 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 12,173,572 carloads, up 10 percent from last year, and 8,766,042 trailers and containers, up 14.8 percent from last year.

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) is the world's leading railroad policy, research, and technology organization. AAR members include the major freight railroads, or Class I railroads, of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, as well as Amtrak. For more information, visit www.aar.org.

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