Rail intermodal traffic on U.S. railroads set another record high for the year, with 233,767 total trailers and containers for the week ending Aug. 14
, according to the Association of American Railroads. AAR said last week's intermodal volume was up 20.8 percent from the same week in 2009, but down 1.4 percent from 2008.
Weekly container volume, a subset of intermodal, was the highest on record, up 22.4 percent compared with the same week in 2009, and up 6.4 percent with the same week in 2008. Trailer volume, another subset, rose 12.3 percent last week compared with the same week in 2009, but fell 31 percent compared with 2008.
Last week, the railroads originated 295,948 carloads, up 7.1 percent from the same week in 2009, but down 11.3 percent from 2008.
Sixteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009. Those posting the most significant increases were metallic ores, up 65.4 percent; metals and metal products, up 38.8 percent; and farm products excluding grain, up 37.6 percent.
For the first 32 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of about 9 million carloads, up 7.2 percent from 2009, but down 13.1 percent from 2008, and about 6.8 million trailers or containers, up 13.9 percent from 2009, but down 5.7 percent from 2008.