U.S. freight carload traffic declined 4.3% when measured against the comparable week in 2013, while U.S. intermodal volume resumed it usual upside, rising a modest 0.6% from a year ago. Total combined U.S. weekly rail traffic slipped 2% compared with the same week last year.
Just four of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR measures on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2013, including farm and farm products excluding grain, up 5.8%, and grain, up 4%. Declining commodities included coal, down 8.4%.
Canadian freight carload traffic for the week ending Feb. 8 slumped sharply, down 12.2%, while Canadian intermodal fared somewhat better, down a modest 0.1%. Mexican freight carload traffic for the week declined 1.8%, while Mexican intermodal volume plunged 11.6%.
Combined North American freight carload traffic for the first six weeks of 2014 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was down 1.6% when measured against the comparable period in 2013. Combined North American intermodal, by contrast, was up 0.4% for the period.