AAR reported that just five of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with metallic ores, up 29.2%, leading the pack. Leading the declining commodity groups was grain, down 20%.
Canadian freight carload traffic mirrored its American cousin, down 3.6% for the week, while Canadian intermodal volume fell 9.8%. Mexican freight carload volume joined the retreat, down 15.2% in the first week of 2012 compared with a year earlier. Mexican intermodal volume, however, rose 16.5%.
Combined North American freight carload volume as 2012 began on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was down 4.1% compared with the first week of 2011, while combined North American intermodal also fell, down 8.8%.