Thursday, November 21, 2013

Gains again for U.S. freight rail traffic

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Continuing its fourth-quarter rally, U.S. freight rail traffic rose during the week ending Nov. 16, 2013, measured against the comparable week in 2012, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday, Nov. 21.

U.S. freight carload traffic during the week rose 2.4% compared with a year ago, while U.S. intermodal volume jumped 7.0%, which AAR noted was "up for the 20th straight week in a row." Total combined U.S. weekly rail traffic advanced 4.5% compared with the same week last year.

Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, including grain, up 23.5%, and petroleum and petroleum products, up 21.6%. Declining commodities included coal, down 5.0%.

Canadian freight rail traffic also did well, with Canadian freight carloads rising 4.4% for the week ending Nov. 16, measured against the comparable week in 2012. Canadian intermodal volume gained 5.5%. Mexican freight carload traffic for the week rose 3.2%, while Mexican intermodal failed to join the winners, falling 11.0%.

Combined North American freight carload traffic for the 46 weeks of 2013 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian. and Mexican railroads was up 0.4% measured against the comparable period of a year ago. Combined North American intermodal volume registered a 4.0% gain.