U.S. carload freight traffic for the week ending June 5 rose a modest 4.0% compared with the comparable week in 2009, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday. Intermodal traffic for the same week edged up 1.6%. AAR noted that the week included the Memorial Day holiday in 2010. Both categories were still below levels for the comparable 2008 period, down 16.4% and 18.9%, respectively.
AAR said 10 of the 19 carload commodities increased from the comparable week in 2009, with metallic ores, up 208%, and metals and metal products, up 69.8%, posting the largest gains. Only one commodity group—the“all other carloads” category—posted an increase over 2008 levels.
Canadian railroads reported carload freight traffic up a substantial 25.5% from a year ago, while intermodal rose a nearly identical 25.4%. Mexico’s two major railroads reported carload freight traffic rose 25.3%, while intermodal climbed 51.3%.
Combined North American rail volume for the first 22 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 10.1% compared with the comparable period in 2009, while intermodal rose 11.7% for the same period.