Thursday, April 25, 2013

U.S. freight traffic mixed again in latest week

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Down for freight carload traffic, up for intermodal: That once more describes U.S. freight rail volume, this time for the week ending April 20, 2013, according to the latest report by the Association of American Railroads.

U.S. freight carload traffic fell 2.0% for the week, measured against the comparable week in 2012, AAR said. By contrast, U.S. intermodal volume for the week edged up 0.6%. Total U.S. traffic for the week slipped 0.8% compared with the same week last year.

Four of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR measured posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, led by petroleum and petroleum products, up 40.1%. Commodities showing a decrease included grain, down 21.8%.

Canada did well in both categories. Canadian freight carload traffic rose 1.2% for the week, while Canadian intermodal volume advanced 2.0%. Mexican freigtht carload traffic also gained ground, up 2.5% for the week, but Mexican intermodal fell 5.2%.

Combined North American freight carload volume for the 16 weeks of 2013 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was down 0.9% percent measured against the comparable period in 2012. Combined intermodal for the first 16 weeks rose 4.4%.