The Association of American Railroads reported Thursday that freight volume on U.S. railroads continues to show signs of recovery, with both carload and intermodal traffic registering gains from last year during the week ended March 6.
U.S. rail carriers originated 285,160 carloads in the latest week, up 3.7% from the corresponding week in 2009, but down 11.5% from 2008. Intermodal traffic totaled 212,296 trailers and containers, up 17.9% from last year and up 2.9% from the comparable week in 2008.
Total volume for the week was estimated at 31.1 billion ton-miles, up 5.1% from last year though down 8.3% from 2008.
Fourteen of 19 carload groups posted gains from last year with nine showing double-digit increases. Among the largest gains were metals, up 63.3%; primary forest products, up 46.8%; waste and scrap, up 29.1%; coke, up 21.4%; and chemicals and motor vehicles, both up 18.4%. Coal loadings were down 4.6% and the "all other carload" category fell 22.7%.
Canadian roads reported volume of 74,604 cars for the week, up 23% from last year, and 44,971 trailers or containers, up 20.7%.
Mexican railroads originated volume of13,375 carloads, up 16.3% from last year, and 7,153 trailers or containers, up 69.6%.
Consolidated North American volume for the first nine weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 3,191,568 carloads,up 2.7% from last year, and 2,266,244 trailers and containers, up 7.8%.