Thursday, February 09, 2012

Freight traffic strong as February begins

Written by 

U.S. freight carload traffic for the week ending Feb. 4, 2012 advanced 6.2% measured against the comparable week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday. U.S. intermodal volume did even better, up 16.8% compared with the same week last year. AAR noted significant, adverse weather conditions in 2011 affected the comparison.

AAR also said 16 of the 20 carload commodity groups it tracks posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, led by metallic ores, up 63.2%, motor vehicles and equipment, up 42%, and petroleum products, up 40.5%. Leading the declining commodity groups was grain, down 9.7%.

Canadian freight carload volume rose 13.5% compared with the same week in 2011, while Canadian intermodal volume also did well, up 15.4%. Mexican freight carload volume bucked the positive trend in North America, slipping 0.4% for the week compared with a year ago. Mexican intermodal volume fared better, up 19.1%.

Combined North American freight carload volume for the first five weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican was up 1.6% measured against the same period in 2011, while intermodal rose 5.2% over the 2011 period.