U.S. freight carload traffic gained 1.6% during the week ending May 14, 2011, measured against the comparable week one year ago, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. U.S. intermodal volume for the week continued to show strength, up 6.3% compared with the same week in 2010.
AAR said 10 of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases from the comparable week in 2010. Among those gaining ground: metallic ores, up 17.5%; metals and products, up 17.2%; and grain, up 14.2%. Setbacks were recorded waste and nonferrous scrap, down 16.9%, primary forest products, down 13.6%, and farm products excluding grain, down 13.0%.
Canadian freight carload traffic rose 4.5% for the week compared with last, year, while Canadian intermodal also rose a more modest 1.1%. Mexican freight carload traffic for the week was even with last year, while intermodal rose 22.1%.
Combined North American freight carload volume for the first 19 weeks of 2011 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 3.0% compared with the same period, last year, while intermodal was up 8.0% percent compared with last year.