Thursday, May 20, 2010

U.S. carload, intermodal freight continue to gain

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Intermodal traffic on U.S.railroads reached its highest level since late 2008, and carload freight traffic also rose, in the week ended May 15, 2010, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. Eighteen of the 19 commodity groups listed by AAR posted gains.

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U.S. carload freight rose 16.6% from the comparable week in 2009, still down 11.9% from the comparable 2008 period. Intermodal traffic gained 15.2% from last year but still trailed 2008 by 6.7%. Compared with the same week in 2009, container volume increased 16.8% while trailer volume rose 6.9%.

AAR noted that among the 18 carload commodity groups showing increases from last year, 14 experienced significant percentage gains, led by a 140.9% increase in loadings of metallic ores. Loadings of metals were up 82.9%, coke jumped 49%, and waste and scrap rose 31.1%.  

Canadian carload traffic rose 36.4% from the comparable period in 2009, and intermodal notched a 20.3% increase. Mexico’s two major railroads reported carload freight increased 14.8%, while intermodal rose 18.9%.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 19 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 9.3% from last year, while intermodal rose 10.7%.