Thursday, September 09, 2010

Weekly Rail Traffic Continues to Improve, Rail Volume Now At Highest Level Since 2008

WASHINGTON , D.C. – Sept. 9, 2010 – "The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported weekly rail carload volume set a new 2010 record for the second consecutive week. U.S. railroads originated 305,000 carloads during the week ending Sept. 4, 2010, up 6.9 percent compared with the same week in 2009, and at comparable levels to the same week in 2008 (see charts above). The 2008 comparison week included the Labor Day holiday while the corresponding weeks in both 2010 and 2009 did not. 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.

Intermodal traffic totaled 237,006 trailers and containers, up 18 percent from the same week in 2009, and up 18 percent compared with 2008 (see charts above). Compared with the same week in 2009, container volume increased 19.4 percent and trailer volume rose 10.7 percent. Compared with the same week in 2008, container volume increased 27.1 percent and trailer volume declined 16.9 percent."

MP: This marks the 34th straight week of improvements in intermodal rail traffic compared to the same week in 2009.  Except for a holiday-related decline in July, carload volume has increased for the last 28 weeks compared to the same week last year.

Rail carloads and intermodal volume are now at their highest levels since 2008. Based on the steadily increasing volume of raw materials, natural resources, lumber, coal, grains, chemicals, metals, motor vehicles and paper products moving around the country by rail (and Canada and Mexico), the economic picture continues to get a little brighter every week.  Warren Buffett's favorite economic indicator indicates that a double-dip recession is a pretty remote possibility. 


At 9/09/2010 1:42 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Do you have the volume from trucking? I would assume rail would be higher and trucking lower due to the cost being lower with rail.

At 9/09/2010 2:30 PM, Blogger James said...

Contrarian View:

The economic picture has been getting brighter for an awfully long time not to be brighter than it is.

At 9/09/2010 3:47 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Interesting and yeah! Good news is always nice to read about...

I know we all are impacted by rail traffic considering all things we consume aren't produced for the most part in our local areas...

What I wonder is just how many folks on this blog have very immediate concerns (on a daily if not hourly basis) about rail traffic due to their jobs or businesses?

At 9/10/2010 10:22 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

there are the trough comparisons for the recession.

to my mind the real question is can they stay strong through q4 when the comparisons get difficult.

this is a coincident, not a leading indicator.

At 9/10/2010 11:16 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9/10/2010 11:28 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Increased rail traffic is a key indicator of a better economy. Raw materials and components for manufacturing are a large percentage of train car loadings. The whole manufacturing cycle still needs some lead time even in a just-in-time manufacturing process.


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