AAR: Rail Volumes at Highest Level in Two Months

Rail carloadings on the major U.S. railroads continued in negative territory in the first week of June, compared with the same period last year, but were at their highest level in nine weeks.

According to a weekly report from the Association of American Railroads, U.S. railroads originated 260,282 carloads during the week ended June 6, down 19.8 percent from the same week in 2008.  Loadings were down 16.5 percent in the West and 24.4 percent in the East. Intermodal volume of 188,801 trailers or containers was off 20.1 percent from the same period last year, with container volume falling 15.3 percent and trailer volume dropping 37.7 percent.

Eighteen of 19 carload commodity groups were down from last year, with declines ranging from 6.7 percent for grain mill products to 68.2 percent for metallic ores. The only group showing an increase was the general category labeled "all other carloads" which was up 24.4 percent.

For the first 22 weeks of 2009, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 5,799,687 carloads, down 19.5 percent from the same period in 2008. In addition, they moved 4,080,869 trailers or containers, down 16.9 percent.