Thursday, March 20, 2014

U.S. freight traffic advances in latest week

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Both U.S. freight carload traffic and U.S. intermodal volume gained ground in the week ending March 15, 2014, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday, March 20.

U.S. freight carload traffic rose 3.1% for the week, measured against the comparable week in 2013. U.S. intermodal volume jumped 11.9% higher compared with the same week last year. Total combined U.S. rail traffic was up 7% for the week compared with the same period one year ago, making it the third week in the past four when both freight carload traffic and intermodal volume gained ground.

Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR measures on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2013, led by grain, up 21%. Declining commodities included motor vehicles and parts, down 8%.

Canadian freight carload volume, by contrast, dropped 8.2% during the week ending March 15, measured against the comparable week one year ago. Canadian intermodal volume fared better, up 2.3%. Mexican freight carload volume for the week ending March 15 gained 1.9% compared with the same week last year, but Mexican intermodal declined 1.9%.

Combined North American rail volume for the first eight weeks of 2014 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads declined 1.7% measured against the comparable period in 2013. Combined North American intermodal for the period rose 1.7% over 2013 levels.