U.S. freight carload traffic for the latest week slipped 0.3%, measured against the comparable week in 2012, AAR said. U.S. intermodal, by contrast, notched another week of gains, up 6.4% compared with the same week of a year ago. Total U.S. weekly traffic gained ground, up 2.8%.
Five of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, including petroleum and petroleum products, up 12.7%, and grain, up 5.0% Declining commodities included metallic ores and metals, down 6.5%, and coal, down 2.9%.
Canadian freight carload traffic for the week ending Dec. 21 fell 7.0%, but Canadian intermodal advanced 2.5% compared with the same week in 2012. Mexican freight carload traffic for the week moved up 4.2%, while Mexican intermodal volume also gained, up 3.6%.
Combined North American freight carload volume for the 51 weeks of 2013 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up a modest 0.1% measured against the same period in 2012. Combined North American intermodal volume tallied a 4.3% gain.