Thursday, May 13, 2010

U.S. freight traffic continues to rebound

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U.S. carload freight traffic rose 14.7% during the week ended May 8, 2010, compared with the comparable week in 2009, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday, marking the 11th consecutive week of traffic increases. The rate was still 13.9% below the comparable week in 2008. U.S. intermodal traffic also rose, up 14.0% from last year but down 9.2% from 2008.

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Total volume was estimated at 32.2 billion ton-miles, up 16.2% from last year but down 8.8% from 2008.

Eighteen of 19 carload commodity groups were up from last year, led by a 99.7% jump in metals and a 70.2% increase in metallic ores. Loadings of motor vehicles and equipment were up 50.%; waste and scrap was up 31.6%; and lumber and wood products gained 23.4%. Only grain mill products declined, down 4.8%.

Canadian carload freight traffic rose 38% from last year, while intermodal advanced 9.9% from 2009. Mexican carload freight was up 37.9% from the same week last year, while intermodal rose a similar 36%.