Friday, May 28, 2010

U.S. carload freight, intermodal gains moderate, AAR says

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U.S. carloadfreight and intermodal traffic once again looked better in the week ended May 22, compared with 2009 levels, but “has leveled off after 12 consecutive weeks ofgains,” the Association of American Railroads reported. U.S. carload traffic was up 10.6% from the comparable week in 2009, but down 12.4% from 2008. Intermodal traffic rose 12.7% from last year but was down 7.9% from 2008.

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Fifteen of 19 carload commodity groups were up from last year, led by a 100.2% jump in metallic ores and a 79.7% increase in metals. Other significant increases included coke, up 59.7%, motor vehicles and equipment, up 46.8%, and waste and scrap materials, advancing 32.4%. Declines in four carload commodity groups were led by farm products excluding grain at 12.2%.

Canadian carload freight traffic rose 32.1% from 2009’s corresponding week, while intermodal rose a similar 33.2%. Mexican carload freight traffic gained 13.4% in the week ended May 22 compared with one year ago, while intermodal rose 35.5%.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 20 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 9.6% from last year, while intermodal traffic increased by 10.9%.