Thursday, October 01, 2009

Southeastern flooding erodes rail traffic

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The Association of American Railroads reported Thursday that U.S. rail carload traffic for the week ending Sept. 26 felt the impact of severe flooding halted freight shipments in Georgia and Tennessee for three days, and also affected western carriers that operate through Atlanta. Nationwide, traffic was down 17.1% from the same week last year to 271,659 carloads.

Intermodal traffic for the latest week totaled 205,627 trailers or containers on U.S. railroads, down 16.5% from last year. Container volume fell 11% and trailer volume dropped 37.2%.

All 19 carload commodity groups were down from last year with declines ranging from 6 %t for chemicals to 38.5% for metals and products.

For the first 38 weeks of 2009, U.S. railroads reported total volume of 10,104,171 carloads, down 18.2% from 2008; and 7,141,006 intermodal units, down 16.8 5.

Canadian railroads originated 69,342 carloads for the week, down 15.1% from last year, and 44,838 trailers or containers, down 13.8%. Year to date, Canadian roads reported cumulative volume of 2,304,419 carloads, down 22.6% from last year, and 1,545,090 trailers or containers, down 16.3%.

Mexican railroads reported originated 11,782 carloads, down 8.9% from last year, and 6,636 intermodal units, down 13.9%. Total volume for the first 38 weeks of 2009 was as 432,036 carloads, down 14 % from last year; and 195,933 trailers or containers, down 18.9%.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 38 weeks of 2009 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 12,840,626 carloads, down 18.9% from last year, and 8,882,029 intermodal units, down 16.8%.