Thursday, August 28, 2014

U.S freight traffic forges on in latest week

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U.S. freight rail traffic continued to gain ground in the latest week ending Aug. 23, 2014, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday, Aug. 28, even as Canadian and Mexican traffic fared less well.

U.S. freight carload traffic advanced 3% measured against the comparable period in 2013, while U.S. intermodal volume continued its winning ways, up 3.4% Total combined U.S. rail traffic moved up 3.2%.

Eight of 10 of the carload commodity groups AAR measures on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2013, including petroleum and petroleum products, up 28.4%, grain, up 17.6%, and nonmetallic minerals, up 10.5%. Commodities in the loss column: coal, down 3.9%, and chemicals, off a modest 0.1%.

Canadian freight carload traffic for the week ending Aug. 23 slipped 0.4%, while Canadian intermodal volume paced its U.S. counterpart and then some by percentage, up 8.7%. Mexican freight carload traffic also fell, down 4.9% for the week, while Mexican intermodal volume mimicked the other two nations' intermodal trend, up 1.7%.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 34 weeks of 2014 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 3.1% measured against the comparable period in 2013. Combined North American intermodal volume was up 5.8% compared with last year.

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