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%.