Seven of the 19 carload freight commodity groups charted by the Association of American Railroads showed gains for the week ended September 5, compared with the corresponding week in 2008. The gains ranged from 2.3% formotor vehicles and equipment to 11.4% for chemicals. Among decliners, metallic ores fell most steeply, 46.2%.
All told, U.S. railroads reported originating 284,715 cars, down 6.7% compared with the same week in 2008. Carloadings were down 7.1% in the West and 6.0% in the East. U.S. intermodal traffic was down 0.2% from the same week last year.
Canadian railroads reported carload volume down 14.0% for the week compared with last year, and intermodal fell 4.9%. Mexican railroads reported carload volume was down 33.6% for the week, while intermodal slumped 30.4%.
Combined North American rail volume for the first 35 weeks of 2009 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 11,786,932 carloads, down 19.2% from the comparable period last year. Combined North American intermodal traffic fell 16.6%.