U.S. rail carloads for the week ended Jan. 30 totaled 278,438, up 7.0% from the same week last year--but that's comparing one recession week with another. When compared with the corresponding week of 2008, the numbers are down 12.7%.
The Association of American Railroads reports that intermodal traffic in the latest week totaled 203,952 trailers and containers, up 7.5% from year ago, but down 9.7% compared with 2008.
Thirteen of the 19 carload commodity groups were up from last year, led by nonmetallic minerals at a hefty 105.4%. Other notable increases included motor vehicles and equipment , up 45.7%, and grain, up 41.9%. Year-over-year weekly commodity declines from 2009 were slight.
Canadian railroads reported volume of 69,023 cars for the week, down 8.0% from last year, and 42,940 trailers or containers, up 1.5%. Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 13,503 cars, up 20.8%, and 6,505 trailers or containers, up 54.2%.
Combined North American rail volume for the first four weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 1,393,491 carloads, up 3.2% from last year, and 1,003,936 trailers and containers, up 3.5%.