Thursday, December 26, 2013

U.S. freight traffic maintains December "mix"

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U.S. freight rail traffic continued offering mixed results for December as evidenced by data for the week ending Dec. 21, 2013, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported Thursday.

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.