Thursday, January 19, 2012

U.S. freight, intermodal volumes gain, AAR says

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U.S. freight carload traffic rose 5.5% for the week ending Jan. 14 compared with the second week of 2011, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. U.S. intermodal volume also rose, up 7.4% for the week measured against the comparable period in 2011.

AAR said 17 of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, led by crushed stone, sand, and gravel, up 33.2%, motor vehicles and equipment, up 31.5%, and petroleum products, up 28.9%. Declining commodities were led by grain, down 10.1%.

Canadian freight carload traffic rose 9.8% for the week ending Jan. 14, while Canadian intermodal did even better by percentage, up 15.5%. Mexican freight carload traffic, by contrast, fell 21.3% during the week compared with a year ago, but Mexican intermodal volume advanced 20.5%.

Combined North American freight carload volume for the first two weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 741,662 carloads, up 0.5% compared with the first two weeks of 2011. Intermodal volume edged up 0.1% for the first two weeks, compared with 2011.