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%.