Thursday, October 24, 2013

U.S., North American traffic rises, AAR says

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North America’s largest railroads saw gains in both freight carload traffic and intermodal volume during the week ending Oct. 19, 2013, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday, Oct. 24.

U.S. freight carload traffic had a good week, up 0.2% measured against the comparable week in 2012, and continuing an “up one week, down the next” pattern developing through the second half of 2013. U.S. intermodal volume continued its winning week-by-week trend, up 4.3%, with AAR noting the category was “up for the 16th straight week in a row.”

Total U.S. rail traffic for the week was up 2.1% compared to 2012.

Eight of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases in the latest week with petroleum and petroleum products advancing 15.5%. Grain also did well, up 9.6%.  Declining commodities not surprisingly included coal, down 6.0%.

Canada and Mexico freight traffic also gained ground. Canadian freight carload traffic for the week ending Oct. 19 rose 4.9% measured against the comparable week of 2012, and Canadian intermodal gained a robust 8.5%. Mexican freight carload volume for the week rose 13.3%, while Mexican intermodal volume also gained, up 5.5%.

Combined North American rail volume for the 42 weeks of 2013 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was even with the 42-week period in 2012. Combined North American intermodal volume, by contrast, was up 3.7%.