Major North American railroads hauled the most intermodal equipment in a month during the week ending Nov. 20.
The peak season remains strong as traffic is outpacing the 2009 period by double-digit rates.
The seven Class I railroads in the U.S. and Canada, plus some large regional and Mexican lines that report volume figures to the Association of American Railroads, originated 291,067 revenue shipments of containers and trailers in the latest week.
Although that is well below the 300,000-plus peak weeks of late September, it is up from 289,673 units a week earlier and is the strongest volume since 293,540 in the Oct. 23 week.
It also shows that intermodal is still in a solid peak-season range ahead of the major retail sales season that runs from Thanksgiving through yearend. For instance, the major railroads during 2010 did not top 291,000 combined container and trailer loads in any week before Aug. 14, even during the heaviest times for Asian imports at West Coast container ports.
The AAR said the major rail lines picked up 252,566 containers in the latest week, up 11.8 percent from the same week in 2009. Their 38,501 trailer loadings were up 4.6 percent and combined intermodal traffic was 10.7 percent ahead of the 2009 week.
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