Thursday, August 09, 2012

North American nations score weekly traffic gains

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Freight carload traffic and intermodal volume rose for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico during the week ending Aug. 4, 2012, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday.

U.S. freight carload traffic, struggling throughout this year to equal 2011 levels, was a winner in the latest week, up 0.4% over the comparable week last year. U.S. intermodal volume continued its winning streak, up 3.3% over 2011.

AAR said 13 of the 20 U.S. carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, led by petroleum products, up 56.3%, lumber and wood products, up 29%, and grain, up 11.2%. Pacing the declining commodities were iron and steel scrap, down 19.7%, metallic ores, down 13.3%, and farm products excluding grain, down 13.2%.

Canadian freight carload volume for the week advanced 6.8% compared with the same week last year, while Canadian intermodal volume did even better, up 12.7%.

Mexican freight carload volume rose 9.1% compared with the same week last year, while Mexican intermodal rose 18.4%.

Combined North American freight carload for the first 31 weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads still lagged behind 2011's pace, down 1.3%. Combined North American intermodal moves, however, were up 4.6% for the period compared with last year.