AAR said 11 of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases compared with the same week in 2010, including: nonmetallic minerals, up 30.6%; petroleum products, up 21.3%; and motor vehicles and equipment, up 16.3%. Leading the declining groups: Primary forest products, down 13.8%; farm products, excluding grain, down 12.4%; and grain, down 11.9%.
Canadian carload freight volume also rose, up 0.4% compared with the same week last year, while intermodal gained 1%. Mexican carload freight volume rose 12.3% for the week compared with 2010, and intermodal increased 41.8%.
Combined North American carload freight volume for the first 46 weeks of 2011 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 2.1% compared with the same period last year, while intermodal was up 5%.