Thursday, January 24, 2013

U.S. freight traffic stays mixed in latest week

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U.S. freight carload traffic for the week ending Jan. 19, 2013 was down 3.5% measured against the comparable week in 2012, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. U.S. intermodal volume kept its positive run going and then some, however, rising 13.5 compared with levels of one year ago.

AAR said nine of the 20 carload commodity groups it tracks posted increases, including petroleum products, up 60.9%, motor vehicles and equipment, up 19.1%, and lumber and wood products, up 15.8%. Declining commodity groups included primary forest products, down 20.9%, iron and steel scrap, down 17.7%, nonmetallic minerals, down 16.9%. Coal declined 12.6%.
 
Canadian freight carload volume rose 13.1% for the week ending Jan. 19, while intermodal rose comparably, up 11.5%. Mexican freight carload volume also rose, up 7.4%, as did Mexican intermodal volume, up 2.9%.

Combined North American freight carload volume for the first three weeks of 2013 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican was down 4.8% from the comparable period in 2012, while combined North American intermodal volume advanced 5.9%.