U.S. freight carload traffic during 2014's second week fell sharply, down 8.2%, compared with the second week of 2013. U.S. intermodal volume also fell significantly, and out of line with intermodal's usual string of advances, down 6.7%. Total combined U.S. weekly rail traffic was down 7.5%.
Only two of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR measures on a weekly basis posted led by grain, up 10.1%. Declining commodities included motor vehicles and parts, down 22.5%, metallic ores and metals, down 20.3%, and nonmetallic minerals and products, down 16.0%.
Canadian freight carload traffic during the week ending Jan. 11 shared a similar fate, down 11.8%, while Canadian intermodal volume also fell, down 10.2%. By contrast, Mexican freight carload traffic rose 5.0%, while Mexican intermodal volume notched the same percentage gain, up 5.0%.
Combined North American freight carload traffic for the first two weeks of 2014 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was down 4.5%. Combined North American intermodal volume declined 2.6%.