Thursday, March 14, 2013

For U.S. freight traffic, bifurcated mix resumes

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The split results resumed for U.S. freight traffic during the week ending March 9, 2013, according to results released Thursday by the Association of American Railroads.

U.S. freight carload traffic edged down 0.9% measured against the comparable week in 2012, while U.S. intermodal volume continued its robust activity, up 4% compared with the same week. AAR noted total U.S. traffic rose 1.3% for the week.

Four of the 10 reconfigured carload commodity groups AAR measures weekly posted increases compared 2012, perhaps not surprisingly led by petroleum products, up 46.5%. Commodities showing a decrease were led by grain, down 16.5%.

Canadian freight carload volume fared better than its U.S. counterpart, up 4.8% for the week ending March 9 measured against the comparable week in 2012. Canadian intermodal volume also rose, up 7.2%. Mexican freight carload volume also did well, up 13% for the week compared with 2012, while Mexican intermodal did even better in percentage terms, up 24.5%.

Combined North American freight carload volume for the 10 weeks of 2013 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads, largely burdened by the U.S. sector's performance, was down 2% compared with the same point last year. Combined North American intermodal volume, by contrast, was up 7% for the period.