Thursday, September 03, 2009

U.S. rail carloads at highest level this year

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The Association of American Railroads reported Thursday that U.S. rail carloadings for the week ended Aug. 29 were at their highest level since the week ended Dec. 13, 2008. Railroads originated 285,580 carloads in the latest week, down 16.2% from the same week in 2008.

U.S. railroad intermodal traffic of 202,553 trailers or containers was down 15.66% from last year. Container volume fell 9.4% and trailer volume dropped 38.7%.

All 19 carload commodity groups were down, with declines ranging from 8.7% for farm products not including grain to 42.1% for metals and metal products.

Canadian railroads reported volume of 65,256 cars for the latest week, down 17.9% from last year, and 43,274 trailers or containers, down 17.2%. Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 12,286 cars, down 18.22%, and 6,446 trailers or containers, off 11%.

Total North American rail volume for the first 34 weeks of 2009 on 13 reporting railroads added up to 11,426,889 carloads, down 19.4% from last year, and 7,894,694 trailers and containers, down 17%.