U.S. freight carload traffic for the week ending May 28, 2011 edged up 0.7%, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. Intermodal volume for the week did even better, up 4.2% compared with the same week in 2010.
AAR noted only seven of the 20 carload commodity groups it identifies posted increases from the comparable week in 2010. Leading gainers included metallic ores, up 48.9%, grain, up 18.%5, and lumber and wood products, up 13.7%. Declining groups were led by primary forest products, down 23.1%, farm products excluding grain, down 19.7%, and nonmetallic minerals, down 15.4%.
Canadian freight carload traffic gained significantly, up 6.5% from last year, lthough Canadian intermodal slipped a modest 0.1%. Mexican freight carload traffic declined 10.7% compared with the same week last year, but intermodal rose 29.4%.
Combined North American freight carload volume for the first 21 weeks of 2011 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 2.9% compared with the same point last year, while intermodal notched a 7.7% gain compared with last year.