Another Record Week for Intermodal Rail Traffic
"The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported that U.S. railroads saw the highest weekly intermodal volume for 2010 and highest container count on record for the second consecutive week. For the week ending Sept. 25, 2010, intermodal traffic on U.S. railroads totaled 241,167 trailers and containers, up 17.3 percent from the same week in 2009, but down 2.1 percent compared with 2008. Container volume last week increased 19.2 percent compared with 2009, and rose 6 percent compared with 2008. Trailer volume last week rose 7 percent compared with 2009, but dropped 32.8 percent compared with 2008.
U.S. railroads originated 300,908 carloads for the week, up 10.7 percent compared with the same week in 2009, but down 8.2 percent from the same week in 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."
MP: For the year-t0-date (38 weeks), carload rail volume is up by 7.2% and intermodal rail traffic is up by 14.7%. This marks the 37th straight week starting in mid-January of improvements in intermodal rail traffic compared to the same week in 2009, and except for a holiday-related decline in July, carload volume has increased for the last 31 weeks starting in late February.
Once again, Warren Buffett's favorite economic indicator improved last week and container rail traffic set an all-time historical high. It has to be a sign of economic recovery that the amount of raw materials, natural resources, grains, chemicals, metals, lumber, paper, glass, sand, gravel, ores, coal, petroleum and farm products being shipped by rail around the country keeps increasing week after week. After all, those inputs are being ordered by producers somewhere around the country, and will eventually be produced into some intermediate good or final product, and be counted as part of GDP in future quarters. And an increased volume of inputs moving around the country and the subsequent increase in final output has to eventually translate into more employment.