Thursday, September 02, 2010

Freight rail traffic notches 2010 highs

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Both U.S. freight carload traffic and U.S. intermodal traffic hit their highest levels in 2010 during the week ended August 28, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday.

U.S. freight carload traffic rose 5.8% compared with the same week in 2009, though still trailing 2008’s total by 11.3%. U.S. intermodal traffic advanced 17.1% from the same week in 2009, though down 1.2% from 2008 levels.

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AAR said 15 of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009, with “significant increases” in metallic ores, up 62.%, metals and metal products, up 40.2%, and farm product excluding grain, up 33%.

Canadian freight carload traffic rose 16.5% from the comparable week in 2009, while intermodal also rose, up 24.4%. Mexico’s two major railroads reported freight carload traffic rose 18% from one year ago, while intermodal grew by 26.7%.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 34 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 10% from 2009, while intermodal was up 14.% compared with the first 34 weeks of last year.