Thursday, August 20, 2009

U.S. rail carloadings show incremental gains

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U.S. railroad carloadings are registering incremental gains but remain down year over year for the week ended Aug. 15, 2009, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday. Traffic added up to 276,488 cars, down 17.1% from the corresponding week in 2008.

Intermodal volume of 193,488 trailers or containers was down 18.4%. Container volume fell 13.1% and trailer volume was down 38.6 %. Total U.S. volume for the latest week was estimated at 29.5 billion ton-miles, down 16.7% from last year.

All 19 carload commodity groups were down, with declines ranging from 0.9% for farm products not including grain to 51% for metals and metal products.

For the first 32 weeks of 2009, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 8,436,160 carloads, down 18.9% from 2008; 5,958,304 trailers or containers, down 17.2%; and total volume estimated at 897.8 billion ton-miles, down 18%.

Canadian railroads reported 62,796 carloadings for the week, down 21.7% from last year, and 42,828 trailers or containers, off 16.7%. For the first 32 weeks of 2009, Canadian railroads originated 1,909,206 carloads, down 23.8% up from 2008, and 1,286,117 trailers or containers, off 16.3%.

Mexican railroads originated 12,039 carloads of traffic, down 10.6% from the same week last year, and 5,803 trailers or containers, down 15%. Cumulative volume for the first 32 weeks of 2009 was 3635,192 carloads, down 15.2%, and 156,543 trailers or containers, off 21.2%.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 32 weeks of 2009 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 10,708,558 carloads, down 19.7% from last year, and 7,400,964 trailers and containers, down 17.1% from last year.