Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bifurcated trend persists for U.S. freight traffic

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The Association of American Railroads said Thursday it “has modified the weekly rail traffic chart,” grouping its previous list of 20 commodities to 10 in its weekly charting of U.S. freight traffic. But the outcome remained the same for the week ending Feb. 9, 2013: down for freight carload traffic, up for intermodal volume.

U.S. freight carload traffic fell 2.3% for the week measured against the comparable week in 2012, while intermodal kept on rolling, up 7.7% compared with a year ago.

Under AAR's new measures, six of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases , led by petroleum products, up 65%, and nonmetallic minerals and products, up 14%. Declining commodity groups included, grain, down 17.3 percent, and metallic ores and metals, down 13.5%.

Canadian freight carload traffic for the week ending Feb. 9 advanced 3% measured against the comparable week in 2012, while Canadian intermodal also gained, up 2%. Mexican freight carload traffic rose 7.9% compared with a year ago, while Mexican intermodal also gained, up 4.4%.