Monday, August 27, 2012

U.S. weekly traffic still mixed, AAR says

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U.S. freight carload traffic for the week ending Aug. 18 declined 2.1% compared with the same week in 2011, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday. U.S. intermodal volume for the week, by contrast, rose 3.6% compared with the same week a year ago.

AAR said 10 of the 20 carload commodity groups it tracks posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, led by petroleum products, up 45.6%, farm products excluding grain, up 37.4%, and lumber and wood products, up 16.4%. percent. Groups showing declines in weekly traffic included metallic ores, down 29%, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 25.6%. Coal declined 8.5%.

Canadian freight carload traffic for the week mimicked its U.S. counterpart, down 1.4% compared with the same week in 2011, while Canadian intermodal volume also mirrored a U.S. trend, up 4%. Mexican freight carload volume for the week fared better, up 10.7% compared with last year, while Mexican intermodal also rose, up 34.1%.

Combined North American freight carload volume for the first 33 weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican was down 1.3% compared with the same period in 2011, while combined North American intermodal volume was up 4.6% over 2011 levels.