U.S. freight carload traffic for the week ending August 7 notched “only moderate gains” of 3.5% compared with the same week in 2009, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. Traffic was down 13% compared with the same week in 2008, AAR said.
Sixteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009, with metallic ores, up 61.2%, and metals and metal products, up 37.8%, posting strong increases. All 19 commodity groups continued to trail 2008 levels.
U.S. intermodal traffic continued to fare better, up 18.6% from the same week in 2009, and down a modest 1.25% compared with 2008. Container volume continued to be a pacesetter, up 19.8% for the week compared with 2009 and up 6.8% from 2008 levels.
Canadian freight carload traffic for the week gained 27.3% from the comparable year-ago period, while intermodal rose 29.7%. Mexico’s two major railroads reported freight carload traffic up 19.8% for the week compared with last year, and intermodal up a similar 18.6%.
Combined North American rail volume for the first 31 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads up 10.1% from last year, while intermodal rose 14.3%.