Thursday, February 27, 2014

U.S. freight traffic rallies in latest week

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Reversing course from last week's declines, both U.S. freight carload traffic and U.S. intermodal volume gained ground during the week ending Feb. 22, 2014, measured against the comparable week in 2013, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday, Feb. 27.

U.S. freight carload traffic advanced a healthy 1.3% for the week compared with the same week a year ago. U.S. intermodal volume scored a 6.4% gain. Total combined U.S. weekly traffic rose a respectable 3.7%.

Six of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2013, led by grain, up 29.7%. Declining commodities once again included coal, down 3.9%.

Canadian freight carload traffic suffered a different fate, down 9.8%. But Canadian intermodal volume advanced 3.5% compared with the same week in 2013. Mexican freight carload traffic fell 2%, while Mexican intermodal also retreated, down 1.4%.

Combined North American freight carload traffic for the first eight weeks of 2014 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads remained down 1.9% compared with the same point last year. Combined North American intermodal volume was in better shape, up 0.5% for the eight weeks over 2013.