The Association of American Railroads Thursday said U.S. freight carload traffic slowed duringthe Labor Day holiday; while traffic rose 5.1% compared with the same week in 2009, it was down 15.5% compared to the same week in 2008. The comparison weeks from 2010 and 2009 included the Labor Day holiday, while the comparison week from 2008 did not, AAR noted.
Fifteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009, led by metallic ores, up 129.9%, and farm products excluding grain, up 38.7%. Three carload commodity groups, led by farm products excluding grain, posted an increase over the 2008 comparison week.
U.S. intermodal advanced 18.1% from the same week in 2009, but was down 12.7% compared with 2008.
Canadian freight carload traffic was up 12% from last year, while intermodal gained 23%. Mexican railroads reported freight carload traffic rose 24.5%, while intermodal advanced 9.1%.
Combined North American rail volume for the first 36 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 9.9% from the 36 weeks of 2009, while intermodal notched a 15.1% increase.