Thursday, August 14, 2014

U.S. freight traffic maintains momentum

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U.S. freight rail traffic continued gaining substantially during the first full week of August, ending Aug. 9, 2014, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday, Aug. 14.

U.S. freight carload traffic rose 4.5% for the week, measured against the comparable week in 2013, while U.S. intermodal volume continued its long-running winning streak, up 4.5%. Total combined U.S. weekly rail traffic was up 3.9% compared with a year ago.

Eight of 10 of the carload commodity groups AAR measures on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2013, including petroleum and petroleum products, up 32.1%, grain, up 26.5%, and nonmetallic minerals, up 9.6%. The two declining commodities included coal , down 2.6%, and farm products excluding grain, and food, down 1.3%.

Canadian freight carload traffic for the week ending Aug. 9 also did well, up 7.3% compared with the same week in 2013, while Canadian intermodal volume rose 9.7%. Mexican freight carload traffic fell 4.5% for the week compared with a year ago, while Mexican intermodal volume advanced 8.6%.

Combined North American freight carload traffic for the first 32 weeks of 2014 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroadsw as up 3.2%, measured against the comparable period in 2013. Combined North American intermodal volume was up 5.9% for the period.