Thursday, May 12, 2011

U.S. freight traffic picture stays mixed, AAR says

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U.S. freight carload traffic slipped 2.6% in the week ending May 7, 2011, measured against the comparable week in 2010, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday, while U.S. intermodal volume surged 11.2% in the same period.

aar_logo.jpgAAR said six of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases from the comparable week in 2010, with grain, up 19.9%, and metals and products, up 13.1%, leading the pact. Declining groups were led by primary forest products, down 19.5%, nonmetallic minerals, down 16.3%, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 13.7%.

By contrast, Canadian freight carload traffic rose 3.3% for the week compared with a year ago, while intermodal also gained, up 8.7%. Mexican freight carload traffic also rose, up 8.4%, and intermodal advanced 28.7%, for the week ending May 7 compared with one year ago.

Combined North American freight carload volume for the first 18 weeks of 2011 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 3.1% compared with the similar period in 2010, while intermodal also rose, up 8.1%.