U.S. freight carload traffic gained 3.7% in the week ending Dec. 10, 2011, measured against the comparable week in 2010, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. U.S. intermodal volume for the week also rose, up 3.0%, compared with the same week last year.
AAR said 13 of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases compared with the same week in 2010, including: metals and products, up 26.6%; motor vehicles and equipment, up 23.1%; and metallic ores, up 21.9%. Declining commodity groups farm products excluding grain, down 16.6%, and iron and steel scrap, down 10.9%.
Canadian freight carload volume advanced 1.2% for the week compared with the same week a year ago, while Canadian intermodal rose 3.3%. Mexican freight carload volume slipped 1.6% for the week compared with one year ago, but Mexican intermodal volume increased 23.9%.
Combined North American freight carload volume for the first 49 weeks of 2011 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 2.1% percent compared with the same point last year, while intermodal was 4.9% ahead of last year’s levels.