U.S. freight carload traffic rose 4.0% in the week ending Nov. 26, 2011, measured against the comparable week in 2010, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. U.S. intermodal volume for the week almost matched that percentage gain, up 3.7% compared with the same week last year.
AAR said 10 of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases compared with the same week in 2010, including: motor vehicles and equipment, up 42%; crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 30.3%; and petroleum products, up 28.4%. Groups registering significant decreases in weekly traffic included farm products excluding grain, down 18.1%, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 10.8%.
Canadian freight carload traffic did even better, up 10.6% compared with the same week last year, while intermodal rose 5.7% in the week ending Nov. 26. Mexican freight carload volume, by contrast, declined 11.6% compared with the same week last year, though Mexican intermodal advanced 3.7%.
Combined North American freight carload volume for the first 47 weeks of 2011 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 2.1% measured against the comparable period in 2010, while combined intermodal rose 5.0%.