Thursday, August 06, 2009

Carload traffic down 17.5% in July; intermodal off 18.0%

Written by 
The Association of American Railroads reported Thursday that all 19 commodity categories saw carload declines in July on U.S. railroads.

Carload freight added up to 1,319,387 cars in July, down 17.5% from July 2008. Intermodal traffic totaled 922,734 trailers or containers, down 18.0%.

“July was an interesting month,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “If you see the glass as half full, 14 carload commodity categories were ‘less worse off’ than they were in the first half of the year. But then you remember 15 commodity groups still saw double-digit declines relative to last year, including metals and products down 48% and motor vehicles down 38%. While the automotive performance was an improvement over recent levels, we should remember that it was supported by a billion dollars of federal assistance. When this assistance ends, it remains to be seen whether the combination of production, inventory, and sales levels will continue to boost railcar loadings.”

Canadian rail carload traffic in July 2009 was down 22.0% to 297,914 carloads. Intermodal traffic in July 2009 was down 19.2% to 200,294 trailers and containers.

Mexican rail carload traffic in July 2009 was down 23.1% to 17,195 carloads. Intermodal traffic in July 2009 was down 25.4% to 8,765 trailers and containers.