Thursday, October 31, 2013

Good week for U.S. freight rail volume

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Both U.S. freight carload traffic and intermodal volume both rose for the third straight week, and fourth week in the last five, during the week ending Oct. 26, 2013, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday, Oct. 31, as freight carload traffic continued to show signs of vigor.

U.S. freight carload volume advanced a healthy 3.6% measured against the comparable week in 2012, while U.S. intermodal volume continued its winning ways for the 17th week in a row, up 3.2% for the week. Total U.S. railroad traffic, predictably, was equally impressive, up 3.4% compared with the same week last year.

Eight of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, with grain leading the plus column, up 29.6%; petroleum and petroleum products rose 20.1% Declining commodities included farm and food products, excluding grain, down 3.9%.

Canadian freight carload traffic, by contrast, slumped 5.1% compared with the same week last year, and Canadian intermodal volume also suffered, down 3.5%. Mexican freight carload traffic did better, up 6.5% compared with a year ago, but Mexican intermodal fell, down 2.5%.

Combined North American freight railcar volume for the 43 weeks of 2013 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads rose 0.1% measured against the comparable period in 2012. Combined North American intermodal for the period was up 3.7%.

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