Combined, total U.S. traffic for the week was up 2.6% compared with the same week last year, AAR noted.
Five of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR tracks posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, led by petroleum and petroleum products, up 38%. Commodities showing a decrease compared with the same week last year included grain, down 28.3%, and metallic ores and metals, down 7.1%.
Canadian railroads freight carload traffic for the week ending May 18, by contrast, fell 1.3% compared with the same week last year, though intermodal did better, up 4.6%. Mexican freight carload volume scored a 14.8% rise for the week, while Mexican intermodal volume also was robust, up 8.7%.
Combined North American freight carload volume for the 20 weeks of 2013 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was down 0.6% measured against the comparable period in 2012; combined North American intermodal was up 4%.