Thursday, March 22, 2012

AAR: U.S. freight traffic remains mixed

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U.S. freight carload traffic for the week ending March 17, 2012 fell 5.3% compared with the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. But U.S. intermodal volume advanced 2% compared with the same week a year ago, continuing the trend of recent weeks.

AAR said 11 of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, led by petroleum products, up 32%, motor vehicles and equipment, up 15.5%, and stone, clay, and glass products, up 11.3%. Declining commodity groups farm products excluding grain, down 21.9%, and coal, down 14.7%.

Canadian freight carload volume for the week ending March 17 rose 3.2% measured against the comparable week in 2011, while Canadian intermodal volume declined 1.4%. Mexican freight carload volume for the week fell 1.3% compared with a year ago, but Mexican intermodal volume soared 36.5%.

Combined North American freight carload volume for the first 11 weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was down 0.4% measured against the comparable period in 2011, while combined intermodal volume rose 3.4%.