U.S. freight carload traffic rose 5.6% measured against the comparable week in 2013, AAR said, while U.S. intermodal volume moved up 3% compared to last year. Total combined U.S. weekly rail scored a healthy 4.4% gain compared with the same week in 2013.
Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR measures on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2013, including grain, up 24.4%, and petroleum and petroleum products, up 13.1%. Among the three declining commodities, metallic ores and metals fell 1.8%.
Canadian railroads freight carload traffic fared less well, down 1.6%, but Canadian intermodal volume rose 1.7% during the week ending Jan. 25. Mexican freight carload traffic rose 8.9% for the week compared with 2013, while Mexican intermodal also gained ground, up 6.7%.
Combined North American freight carload traffic for the first four weeks of 2014 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled remained down a fractional 0.2% compared with the same period in 2013. Combined North American intermodal volume, by contrast, was up 1.3%.