Thursday, December 03, 2009

Nine rail freight groups show volume increases

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Traffic increased in nine of the 19 carload freight commodity groups in the week ended Nov. 28, although total carload volume was down 3.9% compared with the same week last year. Both weeks included the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Association of American Railroads reported Thursday that increases were seen in nonmetallic minerals (38.1%), grain (21.3%), farm products not including grain (20.1%), motor vehicles and equipment (15%), chemicals (13.2%), grain mill products (11.5%), metals and products (11.2%), metallic ores (3.1%), and petroleum products (2.2%).

Declines in commodity groups ranged from 0.9% for crushed stone, sand, and gravel to 28.3% for coke.

Intermodal traffic added up to 165,856 trailers and containers, down 6.4% from last year and down 32.1% from 2007.

Total volume on U.S. railroads for the week ending Nov. 28, 2009 was estimated at 27.6 billion ton-miles, down 3.8% compared with the same week last year.

Canadian railroads reported 69,216 carloads for the week, down 3.8% from last year, and 42,123 intermodal units, down 7.5%. Mexican railroads originated 12,760 carloads, down 1.7% from the same week last year, and 7,602 trailers and containers, up 24.1%.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 47 weeks of 2009 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 16,056,494 carloads, down 17.4% from last year, and 11,160,176 trailers and containers, down 15.4%.