AAR said 12 of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases compared with the same week in 2011. Gainers included: petroleum products, up 29.9%; crushed stone, sand, and gravel, up 27.2%; and metallic ores, up 23.7%. Groups with declining numbers included nonmetallic minerals, down 26.3%, and farm products excluding grain, down 21.5%.
Canadian freight carload traffic rose a brisk 11.9% for the week compared with the same week last year, while Canadian intermodal volume did nearly as well, up 10.9%. Mexican freight carload volume for the week fared worse, down 2.4% compared with the same week in 2011, but Mexican intermodal volume advanced 20.5%.
Combined North American freight carload volume for the first six weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 1.9% when measured agains the comparable period in 2011. Combined North American intermodal volume for the same period was up 4.6% over last year.