U.S. freight carload traffic fell 2.9%, and U.S. intermodal volume also fell, down 5.7%. Total combined U.S. weekly rail traffic marked a 4.3% decline.
Only two of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2013: petroleum and petroleum products, up 7.9%; and grain, up 2.5%. Declining commodities included nonmetallic minerals and products, down 10.6%.
Canadian freight carload traffic also fell back, down 9.5%, but Canadian intermodal volume found the plus column, up 2.8%. Similarly, Mexican freight carload traffic slipped, though more modestly at 1.1%, while Mexican intermodal rose 4.1%.
Combined North American freight carload traffic for the first four weeks of 2014 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican fell 2% percent compared with the same period in 2013. Combined North American intermodal volume also was down, 0.2%, compared with the same point last year.