AAR: Rail Carload Freight Reaches Highest Level in More Than a Year

WASHINGTON — Carload freight volume on U.S. railroads reached its highest level in more than a year during the week ended Feb. 27, the Association of American Railroads reported.

U.S. railroads originated 290,261 carloads during the week ended Feb. 27, up 2.6 percent from the comparable week in 2009 and the highest level reported since the week ended Dec. 6, 2008. However, the total was still down 13.5 percent from comparison week in 2008.

In order to offer a complete picture of the progress in rail traffic, AAR now reports 2010 weekly rail traffic with comparison weeks in both 2009 and 2008.

Intermodal traffic of 205,817 trailers and containers reached its highest level so far this year, up 17.5 percent from last year, but down 8.1 percent compared with 2008. Compared with the same week in 2009, container volume increased 23.2 percent and trailer volume fell 6.4 percent.

Compared with the same week in 2008, container volume was up 0.5 percent while trailer volume fell 37.5 percent. The comparison week from last year was affected by the Chinese New Year, which has a significant impact on container volume.

Total volume for the week was estimated at 31.6 billion ton-miles, up 3.9 percent from last year but down 10.5 from 2008.