U.S. freight carload traffic for the week edged up 0.1% as the sector continued to show a slow and uneven pattern of improvement in recent weeks. U.S. intermodal volume added to its weekly winning streak, up 4.0% compared with 2012 levels. Total U.S. rail traffic for the week rose 1.9%.
AAR said seven of the 10 carload commodity groups it tracks weekly posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, including petroleum and petroleum products, up 15.3%, and metallic ores and metals, up 12.8%. Declining commodities included coal, down 4.9%.
Canadian freight carload traffic for the week ending Oct. 12 rose a robust 11.0% compared with one year ago, while Canadian intermodal volume also surged, up 9.8%. Mexican freight carload traffic, by contrast, fell 7.2% during the week, accompanied in its decline by Mexican intermodal volume, down 4.0%.
Combined North American freight carload volume for the 41 weeks of 2013 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was unchanged compared with the same point last year. Combined North American intermodal volume for the period was up 3.7% compared with last year.