Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rail carload traffic at nine-week high

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Freight carload traffic on U.S. railroads was at a nine-week high in the week ended June 6, showing "slight signs of a slowly improving economy," the Association of American Railroads announced Thursday.

U.S. carriers originated 260,282 freight carloads during the latest week, down 19.8 % from the same week in 2008. Intermodal volume of 188,801 trailers or containers was off 20.1% from last year.

Eighteen of 19 carload commodity groups were down from last year; declines ranged from 6.7% for grain mill products to 68.2%% for metallic ores. The only group showing an increase was that labeled “all other carloads,” which was up 24.4%.

Canadian railroads reported volume of 55,914 cars for the week, down 27.9% from last year, and 39,357 trailers or containers, down 19.7%.

Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 11,791 cars,down 19.9% from last year, and 4,634 trailers or containers, down 21.9%.

Combined North-American rail volume for the first 22 weeks of 2009 on 14 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 7,346,180 carloads, down 20.2% from last year, and 5,074,383 trailers and containers, down 16.7%.