Thursday, December 08, 2011

U.S. freight traffic up again in latest week

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U.S. freight carload traffic rose 2.8% for the week ending Dec. 3, 2011, measured against the comparable week in 2010, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. U.S. intermodal volume also did well, up 3.5% for the week compared with the same week one year ago.

AAR said 13 of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases compared with the same week in 2010, including: Crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 20.5%; lumber and wood products, up 19.9%; and metal products, up 17.5%. Among declining groups, grain fell 16%, farm products excluding grain retreated 15.9k%, and metallic ores notched a 15.6% decline.

Canadian freight carload volume for the week was nearly identical to the U.S. advance in percentage terms, up 2.9% compared with the same week a year ago. Canadian intermodal volume advanced even more, up 7.5% compared to a year ago. Mexican freight carload volume advanced modestly, up 0.5%, compared with the same week last year, but Mexican intermodal volume rose a robust 27.5%.

Combined North American freight carload volume for the first 48 weeks of 2011 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 2.1% measured against the comparable period in 2010. Combined intermodal volume from the three nations was up 4.9%.

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