U.S. freight carload volume continued to struggle, down 2.5% for the week ending June 16. U.S. intermodal volume, by contrast, continued outdoing volume measured against the same week one year ago, up 5.2%.
AAR said 12 of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, led by petroleum products, up 50.3%, motor vehicles and equipment, up 22.6%, and coke, up 11.1%. Declining commodities were paced by metallic ore, down 18.5%, nonmetallic minerals, down 15.2%, and iron and steel scrap, down 12.6%. Coal volume declined 8.9%.
Canadian freight carload volume mimicked its U.S. counterpart, down 3.0% compared with the same week last year, while Canadian intermodal advanced strongly, up 13.0%. Mexican freight carload volume fell 4.6% compared with the same week last year, but Mexican intermodal rose 19.5%.
Combined North American freight carload volume for the first 24 weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was down 1.8% compared with the same period of time in 2012, while combined intermodal was up 4.2% for the period.