U.S. freight carload volume for the week declined 1.7% measured against the comparable week in 2012. Intermodal, also bolstering the bottom line of U.S. railroads, advanced per the 2013 norm, up 3.5% for the week compared with last year. In total, U.S. freight traffic gained 0.7% during the week.
AAR said U.S. Class I railroads originated "a record 108,605 carloads of crude oil in the second quarter of 2013, up 11.8% from the 97,135 carloads originated in the first quarter of 2013 and up 111.05 over the 51,474 carloads originated in the second quarter of 2012. Crude oil accounted for 1.5% of total Class I carloads in the second quarter of 2013. Based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, AAR estimates that railroads today transport approximately 11% of U.S. crude oil production, up from virtually none a few years ago."
Six of the 10 carload commodity groups measured by AAR posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, with petroleum and petroleum products a m ain strength, up 15.3%. Commodities showing a decrease compared with the same week last year included grain, showing a 15.3% drop.
Canadian freight carload volume mirrored its U.S. counterpart category, down 0.8% compared with the same week in 2012. Canadian intermodal volume also mimicked the U.S. category, up 6.1% for the week. Mexican freight carload volume rose 6.2% for the week ending Aug. 24, while Mexican intermodal fell 4.0%.
Combined North American freight carload volume for the 34 weeks of 2013 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was down 0.3% measured against he comparable period in 2012, while combined North American intermodal was up 3.5%.