Thursday, May 22, 2014

North American freight rail growth continues

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Freight rail traffic in all three major North American nations gained ground during the week ending May 17, 2014, just as they did the week before, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday, May 22.

U.S. freight carload traffic for the week rose 4.5% when measured against the comparable period in 2013. U.S. intermodal volume moved up 6.8%. Total U.S. weekly rail traffic notched a 5.6% gain compared with the same week in 2013.

Eight of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2013, led by grain, up 37.6%. Of the two declining commodities, chemicals slipped 0.2%.

Declining commodities included with 21,016 carloads, up 37.6 percent. The commodities showing a decrease compared with the same week last year were led by chemicals with 30,965 carloads, down 0.2 percent.

Canadian freight carload traffic for the week ending May 17 rose 8.2%, while Canadian intermodal volume advanced 9.9%. Mexican freight carload traffic for the week moved up 4.4%, while Mexican intermodal gained 6.1%.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 20 weeks of 2014 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was solidly in the black, up 1.3%, measured against the comparable period in 2013. Combined North American intermodal was up 5.3% compared with the first 20 weeks of a year ago.