Freight traffic gets good December start

Written by Douglas John Bowen
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North American freight rail traffic notched gains over comparable 2013 levels as the month of December began, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014.

AAR, reporting on activity for the week ending Dec. 6, 2014, said U.S. freight carload traffic was up a hefty 11.7% measured against the comparable week in 2013. U.S. intermodal volume for the week gained 2.1%. Total combined U.S. weekly rail traffic was up 7% compared with the same week last year.

Eight of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2013, including grain, up 25.5%, nonmetallic minerals, up 17%, and metallic ores and metals, up 14.8%. Commodity groups posting decreases compared with the same week in 2013 included farm products, excluding grain and food, down a modest 0.2%.

Canadian freight carload traffic for the week ending Dec. 6 was up 9%, while Canadian intermodal volume advanced 2.9%. Mexican freight carload traffic rose 3.3%, while Mexican intermodal volume completed the North American sweep, up 2%.

Combined North American freight carload traffic for the first 49 weeks of 2014 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 3.2% measured against the comparable period in 2013. Combine North American intermodal volume was up 5.3%.

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