Thursday, July 11, 2013

Good gains for U.S. freight traffic in latest week

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Both U.S. freight carload traffic and U.S. intermodal volume advanced in the week ending July 6, 2013, measured against the comparable week in 2012, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday, July 11.

U.S. carload freight traffic rose 2% compared with the same week last year, and also up for a second straight week compared with 2012. U.S. intermodal volume resumed its yearlong advance after a week's hiatus, up 1.1% compared with the same week in 2012. Total U.S. traffic for the week was up 1.6% compared with the same week last year.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR tracks posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, led once again by petroleum and petroleum products, up 36.3%; nonmetallic minerals and products also showed strength, rising 11.6% Commodities showing a decrease compared with the same week last year included motor vehicles and parts, down 13.8%.

Canadian freight carload volume, by contrast, declined 7.3% for the week ending July 6 compared with the same week last year. Canadian intermodal volume did better, up 5.1%. Mexican freight carload volume also did well, up 13.7%, with Mexican intermodal volume just eking out a net gain, up 0.2%.

Combined North American rail volume for the 27 weeks of 2013 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads still lagged slightly behind 2012 levels at the comparable point, down 0.3%. Combined North American intermodal volume for the period was up 3.6% compared with the same point last year.