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.