Arkansas Transportation Report: River tonnage improves, enplanements up in May

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 42 views 

Editor’s note: The Arkansas Transportation report is managed by Talk Business & Politics and sponsored by the Arkansas Trucking Association and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce. Other transportation industry related stories can be found on the Arkansas Transportation Report landing page.

Traffic at Arkansas’ three largest commercial airports improved in May, and shipping on the Arkansas River has recovered from the rain-induced slowdown in 2015, according to information in the June edition of the Arkansas Transportation Report.

Shipping on the Arkansas River is up 7% for the first four months of 2016. April tonnage was 1.018 million tons, up 12.2% from the 907,240 tons tons in April 2015. Information from the U.S. Corps of Engineers shows that 3.96 million tons were shipped January-April, better than the 3.718 million tons during the same period of 2015.

For the first time in a long time, April enplanements were up at Arkansas’ three largest commercial airports. And for the first five months of 2016, enplanements are up at two of the three fields.

Although those two areas of transportation have improved in Arkansas, national freight and shipment analysts have concerns about the back half of 2016 for the freight and logistics sector.

Also, U.S. rail shipments continue to decline thanks to the recession in the nation’s energy sector. For the week ending June 11, 2016, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported weekly rail traffic was 513,471 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.5% compared with the same week last year.

arktransreportsponsorsFollowing are other report highlights.
• The Port of Little Rock reported 73,000 net tons of total barge tonnage in May. Dock activities compared favorably over the previous year with Logistic Services, Inc. (LSI) handling 228 barges during the first five months of the year. 350,000 net tons of various commodities moved across the docks at the port.

• The Cass Freight Index had April shipments down 4.9% year-over-year and shipping expenditures down 8.3%.

• For the first 23 weeks of 2016, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 5,522,488 carloads, down 13.5% from the same point last year; and 5,914,283 intermodal units, down 2.3% from last year.

The Arkansas Transportation Report is designed to keep our readers better informed of trends and data impacting one of the state’s most important industry sectors. The report is produced by Talk Business & Politics and sponsored by the Arkansas Trucking Association and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas.

Link here for the complete PDF of the June 2016 Arkansas Transportation Report.