September 6, 2013 2:30 PM, EDT
Intermodal Traffic Reaches All-Time Monthly Record in August
Bruce Harmon/Trans Pixs

U.S. intermodal traffic set a record for average weekly volume in August, the Association of American Railroads said Aug. 5.

Traffic totaled 1,031,179 containers and trailers, up 4.4% from August 2012. The weekly average of 257,795 units was the highest for any month on record. The previous record of 252,347 units was set in July.

“In terms of average weekly volumes, August was the best intermodal month in history for both U.S. and Canadian railroads,” said John Gray, AAR’s senior vice president of policy and economics.

“Because the fall is typically the peak season for intermodal traffic, it wouldn’t be surprising to see new records set in September and October,” he said in a statement.

August rail carloads totaled 1,178,619, up 0.5% from the same month last year, with 12 of 20 major commodity categories showing increases.

The gains were led by petroleum and petroleum products, which jumped 18.5% from a year ago.

“Intermodal’s strength is a testament to the massive private investments railroads have made in their intermodal operations and the tremendous effort they’ve put forth in improving the reliability, responsiveness and cost-effectiveness of their intermodal service,” said Gray.