U.S. freight carload volume fell 1.6% when measured against the comparable week in 2012, AAR said. Intermodal volume, by contrast, scored a healthy 6.2% gain during the week, up for the 14th week in a row, and helping to power a weekly gain for total U.S. rail traffic, up 2.1% compared with the same week last year.
Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR measures on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, including motor vehicles and parts, up 12.3%, and metallic ores and metals, up 10.1%. Commodities showing a decrease compared with the same week last year included coal, Down 11.4%.
Canadian freight carload volume grew robustly, up 8.4% compared with the same week last year, while Canadian intermodal volume also did well, up 4.4%. Mexican freight carload volume mirrored its U.S. counterpart, declining 1.1% for the week ending Oct. 5, and Mexican intermodal volume also retreated, down 7.5%.
Combined North American freight carload traffic for the 40 weeks of 2013 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was down 0.1% compared with the comparable period in 2013. Combined North American intermodal volume was up 3.7%.