AAR said 12 of the 20 carload commodity groups it monitors posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, led by petroleum products, up 25.9%, and lumber and wood products, up 22.9%. Commodities posting a decline included coal, down 13.9%, and farm products excluding grain, down 13.4%.
Canadian freight carlod traffic for the week ending Feb. 18 did better, up 6.6% compared with the same week in 2011. Canadian intermodal volume also advanced, up 9.4%. Mexican freight carload volume followed the U.S. lead, though not as sharply, down 2.0% compared with the same week last year. Mexican intermodal mimicked and bettered its Canadian counterpart by percentage, up 18.4%.
Combined North American freight carload volume for the first seven weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 1.2% compared with the same period in 2011, while intermodal volume was up 3.6%.