Thursday, April 18, 2013

U.S. freight traffic resumes mixed pattern

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U.S. freight carload traffic fell, and U.S. intermodal volume increased during the week ending April 13, 2013, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday, as overall U.S. traffic resumed a predominant trend.

A modest 0.6% decline marked U.S. freight carload traffic for the week, measured against the comparable week in 2012. U.S. intermodal volume continued its generally strong momentum during the latest week, up 3.3% compared with a year ago. Combined U.S. traffic was up 1.2% during the week, AAR said.

Four of the 10 carload commodity groups measured by AAR posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, including petroleum and petroleum products, up 51.2%, and motor vehicles and parts, up 10.9%. Commodities showing a decrease included metallic ores, down 13.8 %, and grain, down 12.1%. Coal declined 2.7%.

Canadian freight carload volume rose 1.2% compared with the same week last year, while Canadian intermodal volume also gained ground, up 1.9%. Cumulative Canadian freight volume was up 2.6%. Mexican freight carload traffic advanced 15% measured against the comparable week in 2012, while Mexican intermodal rose a more modest 1.8%. Cumulative Mexican freight volume registered a gain of 9.7%.

Combined North American freight carload volume for the first 15 weeks of 2013 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was down 0.9% measured against the comparable period in 2012. Combined North American intermodal volume was up 4.7%.