Friday, November 06, 2009

Traffic remains down, though four commodities edge upward

Written by 

The Association of American Railroads reported that for the week ended Oct. 31, U.S. railroads originated 275,439 carloads, down 13.7% from the same week in 2008 and down 18.2% from 2007. (In order to offer a complete picture of the progress in traffic, AAR is now reporting 2009 weekly rail traffic with year-over-year comparisons for both 2008 and 2007.)

U.S. intermodal traffic totaled 203,860 trailers and containers in the latest week, down 11.1% from a year ago and 15.5% from 2007.

While 15 of the 19 carload freight commodity groups were down from last year, there were increases in grain mill products (9.9%), chemicals (3.6%), waste and scrap metal (0.7 %), and nonmetallic minerals (0.3%).

Total volume on U.S. railroads for the week ending Oct. 31 was estimated at 31 billion ton-miles, down 12.7% compared with the same week last year and 13.2% from 2007.

Canadian railroads reported 71,023 carloads for the week, down 8.7 % from last year, and 42,869 intermodal units, down 12.2%. Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 12,952 cars, down 17.2% from 2008, and 7,087 trailers or containers, down 0.5 %.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 43 weeks of 2009 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 14,633,769 carloads, down 18.3% from last year, and 10,168,924 trailers and containers, down 16.2%.