Thursday, January 16, 2014

U.S. freight traffic falls in 2014's second week

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Both U.S. freight carload traffic and U.S. intermodal volume failed to gain ground during the week ending Jan. 11, 2014, measured against the comparable week in 2013, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday, Jan. 16.

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%.