Thursday, March 28, 2013

New streak? U.S. carload freight up again

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U.S. freight carload traffic logged a second straight week of gains, albeit modest ones, measured against the comparable period in 2012, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday.

For the week ending March 23, 2013, U.S. freight carload volume was up 0.2% over the comparable week in 2012; it moved up 0.5% in the week ending March 16.

U.S. intermodal volume for the week continued on its own, much longer winning streak, up 1.4% from volume of one year ago.

AAR said four of the 10 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, led by petroleum products, the current freight star, up 57%. Commodities showing a decrease were led by grain, down 17.3%.

Canadian freight carload volume for the week ending March 23 also rose, up 1.9% up 1.9 percent compared with the same week last year. Canadian intermodal, by contrast, fell 2.2%. Mexican freight carload volume rose 12.7% for the week, but Mexican intermodal, like its Canadian counterpart, also fell, down 15.5%.

Combined North American freight carload traffic for the 12 weeks of 2013 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was down 1.5%, measured against the comparable 2012 period. Combined North American intermodal volume was up 6% for the same period.

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