Intermodal Rail Posts Highest Year-Over-Year Monthly Gain in 20 Years

July 13, 2010

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In June, intermodal rail traffic jumped 19.2 percent from the same month in 2009, the largest year-over-year monthly gain since 1990
, according to a report released by the Association of American Railroads. Intermodal rail traffic was still 1.4 percent lower than June 2008.

June rail carloads were up 10.6 percent from last year, but were still down 10.2 percent from June 2008.

Compared with May, carloads were down 1.3 percent, while intermodal traffic dipped 1.1 percent from May.

"While June traffic shows signs of an economy that is in better shape than it was a year ago, we still have a long way to go to see rail traffic levels associated with a full recovery," said John Gray, AAR senior vice president. "For example, both the Purchasing Managers Index and consumer confidence fell in June."

Average weekly container volume in June 2010 was the ninth highest since 1990, reflecting a years-long trend of domestic freight converting from truck trailers to containers on rail, the report said.

The Rail Time Indicators report comprises detailed monthly rail traffic data framed with other key economic indicators to show how freight rail ties into the broader U.S. economy. The Association of American Railroads is a railroad policy, research and technology organization based in Washington, D.C.

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