Monday, April 05, 2010

Rail traffic: "Solid signs of recovery"

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Carload traffic on U.S. railroads continued to show “solid signs of recovery” during the week ended March 27, reaching its highest level since November 2008, according to the Association of American Railroads.

U.S. railroads originated 293,114 carloads during the week, up 16.5% from the corresponding week in 2009, though down 11.6% from 2008. Intermodal traffic, at 210,914 trailers and containers, was up 12% from last year but down 5.3% from 2008.

Total volume for the latest week up to 31.7 billion ton-miles, up 17.4% from last year but down 9.2% from 2008.

Eighteen of 19 carload commodity groups posted gains from last year, led by metals, up 63%; waste and scrap, up 37.4%; and metallic ores, up 36.1%. Motor vehicles and equipment traffic was up 28.5%; grain, up 22.3%; coal, up 15.2%; and chemicals, up 14.1%. The only commodity showing a drop was pulp, paper, and allied products, down 11%.

Canadian railroads reported 75,378 carloads for the week, up 24.3% from last year, and 45,647 trailers or containers, up 10.3%. Mexican railroads originated 14,617 carloads, up 26.7% from last year, and 6,608 trailers or containers, up 34.3%.