Thursday, January 02, 2014

Strong Christmas week for U.S. freight traffic

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U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Dec. 28, 2013 advanced strongly, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. U.S. freight carload traffic gained 8.1% when measured against the comparable week in 2012, while U.S. intermodal volume did even better, up 10.6%.

Moreover, nine of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2012. Gainers included grain, up 36.8%, petroleum and petroleum products, up 29.8%, and nonmetallic minerals and products, up 14.3%. Commodities marking declines included metallic ores and metals down 7.2%.

AAR said that for the 52 weeks of 2013, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 14,608,403 carloads, down 0.5% from the same point last year, and 12,831,692 intermodal units, up 4.6% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the 52 weeks of 2013 was 27,440,095 carloads and intermodal units, up 1.8% from 2012.

Canadian freight carload volume fell 0.4% during the week ending Dec. 28, 2013, but Canadian intermodal volume rose 8.1% compared with the same week in 2012. For the 52 weeks of 2013, Canadian railroads reported cumulative carload volume of 4,083,936 carloads, up 1.8% from the same point last year, and 2,790,389 intermodal units, up 4.5% for 2012.

Mexican freight carload traffic declined 6% compared with the same week in 2012, and Mexican intermodal volume also fell, down 9.6%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the 52 weeks of 2013 was 787,941 carloads, up 6.1% over 2012, and 518,804 intermodal units, down 0.4% from 2012.

Combined North American freight carload traffic for the 52 weeks of 2013 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads rose 0.2% measured against 2012. Combined North American intermodal volume was up 4.4%.