AAR reports carload and intermodal gains for week ending December 9
Carloads, at 267,963, were up 3.4% annually, and intermodal containers and trailers rose 4.6% annually to 292,793 units.
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United States rail carload and intermodal volumes were up for the week ending December 9, according to data issued this week by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Carloads, at 267,963, were up 3.4% annually and were below the week ending December 2 at 280,351 and ahead of the week ending November 25 at 230,326.
AAR said that seven of the 10 carload commodity groups it tracks were up annually compared with the same week in 2016, including nonmetallic minerals, up 3,011 carloads, to 35,630; chemicals, up 2,470 carloads, to 32,372; and metallic ores and metals, up 2,311 carloads, to 22,081. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2016 were motor vehicles and parts, down 1,492 carloads, to 17,589; grain, down 725 carloads, to 23,735; and miscellaneous carloads, down 400 carloads, to 8,919.
Intermodal containers and trailers rose 4.6% annually to 292,793 units, which eked out the 292,443 recorded for the week ending December 2 and far outpaced the 233,276 for the week ending November 25.
Through the first 49 weeks of 2017, U.S. carloads are up 3% annually at 12,747,921, and intermodal units are up 3.8% at 13,238,662
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Transportation of freight in containers was first recorded around 1780 to move coal along England’s Bridgewater Canal. However, "modern" intermodal rail service by a major U.S. railroad only dates back to 1936. Malcom McLean’s Sea-Land Service significantly advanced intermodalism, showing how freight could be loaded into a “container” and moved by two or more modes economically and conveniently. As with all new technologies, there were problems that slowed the growth, which influenced many potential customers to shy away from moving intermodal.
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