Thursday, March 01, 2012

AAR: U.S. freight traffic falls in latest week

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U.S. carload freight traffic for the week ending Feb. 25, 2012 fell 5%, measured against the comparable week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. U.S. intermodal volume also fell, though less sharply, down 2.8% compared with the same week a year ago.

AAR said just nine of the 20 carload commodity groups it measured posted increases compared with the same week in 2011. Leading gainers included motor vehicles and equipment, up 30.9%, petroleum products, up 25.6%, and metals and products, up 19.4%. Pacing the declining commodities were coal, down 13.1%, grain, down 11.9%, and nonmetallic minerals, down 10.8%.

Canadian carload freight traffic fared better, up 7.4% compared with the same week last year, but Canadian intermodal volume slipped 2.6%. Mexican freight carload volume fell 8.1% for the week ending Feb. 25, but Mexican intermodal rose 17.8%.

Combined North American carload freight volume for the first eight weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 0.7% measured against the comparable 2012 period, while intermodal was up 2.8%.

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