Thursday, May 15, 2014

Gains continue for U.S. freight traffic

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U.S. freight rail traffic rose during the week ending May 10, 2014, extending gains for the year to date, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday, May 15.

U.S. freight carload traffic rose 5.6% for the week, measured against the comparable week in 2013, while U.S. intermodal volume, not surprisingly, registered another weekly gain, up 7.7%. Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was up 6.6% compared with a year ago.

Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases, including grain, up 29.7%, and nonmetallic minerals and products , up 13%. Declining commodities were led by chemicals, down 2.2%.

Canadian freight rail traffic also fared well during the week ending May 10. Canadian freight carload moves rose 10.3%, while Canadian intermodal volume rose 14.7%. In similar fashion, Mexican freight carload traffic for the week rose 7.4% compared to year-ago levels, while Mexican intermodal volume registered comparatively modest, but still positive, gains, up 2.3%.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 19 weeks of 2014 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 7,100,856 carloads, up 1.1% measured against the comparable period in 2013. Combined North American intermodal volume was up 5.2%.