Thursday, December 29, 2011

AAR data show traffic surge in December

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U.S. freight carload traffic for the week ending Dec. 24, 2011 was up a hefty 11.9% compared with the same week one year ago, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. U.S. intermodal volume for the same week was up 22.9% from the same week last year. 


The increases continued a surge measured by AAR for both sectors of U.S. rail traffic measured in the previous week ending Dec. 17; during that week, U.S. freight carload traffic rose 11.7% measured against the comparable week of a year ago, while U.S. intermodal volume for the week ending Dec. 17 rose 6% compared with year-ago figures. 

AAR said that for the week ending Dec. 24, 16 of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases compared with the same week in 2010, including: crushed stone, sand, and gravel, up 59.7%; nonmetallic minerals, up 39.6%; and petroleum products, up 36.4%. Groups showing declines for the week included coke, down 2.6%, and grain, down 2.4%.

Canadian railroads freight carload volume for the week ending Dec. 24 also fared well, up 16.2% compared with the same week last year. Canadian intermodal volume did even better, up 21% from the comparable week in 2010. Mexican freight carload volume gained more modestly, up 2.7% compared with the same week last year, but Mexican intermodal rose a robust 42.8%.

Combined North American freight carload volume for the first 51 weeks of 2011 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up. 2.5% compared with the same point in 2010, and while intermodal volume for North America was up 5.3% compared with 2010.