Union Pacific Railway said international intermodal volume has been recently weak, but customers expect to compress the peak season for boxed loads into September and October.
“We think we’re right at the doorstep of seeing that start to happen. We would expect that peak season in intermodal to begin this week,” UP Chief Financial Officer Robert Knight told the Credit Suisse investors’ conference in New York on Sept. 8.
The railway’s other segments “are doing quite well,” he said, including healthy shipments of petroleum out of the huge Bakken Shale formation, chemicals, agricultural products and industrial products.
The Association of American Railroads said intermodal volume rose 0.4 percent from August 2010 to nearly 1.18 million units, a time when box shipments were seen as strong ahead of last year's autumn peak. Average weekly volume last month reached 235,968 containers and trailers, the most since October 2007 and the volume grew 32 percent from July to August.