AAR said U.S. freight carload traffic rose 1.7% during the week compared with a year ago, while U.S. intermodal volume advanced a robust 6.8%.
AAR said 10 of the 20 U.S. carload commodity groups it measures posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, led by motor vehicles and equipment, up 46.6%, petroleum products, up 39.2%, and lumber and wood products, up 13.3%. Declining commodities were paced by iron and steel scrap, down 25%, and metallic ores, down 14%.
Coal rose 2.5% measured against the comparable week in 2011.
Canadian freight carload volume for the week ending July 14 rose 3.2% compared with the same week last year, while intermodal advanced 5.8%. Mexican freight carload volume grew 9.7% for the week compared with last year, while Msican intermodal also rose, up 15.5%.
The good week notwithstanding, combined North American rail volume for the first 28 weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads still trailed the comparable period in 2011 by 1.4%. But combined intermodal volume for the first 28 weeks was up 4.5% over 2011 levels.