AAR said 14 of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases compared with the same week in 2011. Leading the gainers was metallic ores, up 50.8%; also showing strength were petroleum products, up 26.8%, and motor vehicles and equipment, up 16.7%. Declining groups included grain, down 10.7%, and farm products excluding grain, down 10.5%
Canadian freight carload volume for the week ending Jan. 21 also rose, up 3.5% percent compared with the same week last year, and Canadian intermodal volume also rose, up 4.8%. Mexican freight carload volume failed to follow suit, down 11% compared with the same week last year, but Mexican intermodal rose 27.6%.
Combined North American freight carload volume for the first three weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 0.8% compared with the same period in 2011, while intermodal notched a 1.4% gain.