Intermodal leads U.S. freight rail traffic gains

Written by Douglas John Bowen
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With intermodal leading the way, U.S. rail freight traffic during the week ending Oct. 25, 2014 maintained growth momentum, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday, Oct. 30.

U.S. freight carload traffic did fine itself, up 3.5% when measured against the comparable week in 2013. U.S. intermodal was up 6.7%, said AAR, which noted the gain represented “the third highest intermodal week in history for U.S. railroads.” Total combined U.S. weekly rail traffic up 5% over the same week in 2013.

Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2013, including petroleum and petroleum products, up 20%, and nonmetallic minerals, up 8.9%. Declining commodities included grain, down 10.5%.

Canadian freight carload traffic for the week ending Oct. 25 rose 16.1%, while Canadian intermodal volume rebounded from last’s week comparative loss, gaining a solid 12.1%. Mexican freight carload traffic advanced 5.8% compared with a year ago, while Mexican intermodal rose 8.5%.

Combined North American freight carload traffic for the first 43 weeks of 2014 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 3.2% measured against the comparable period in 2013. Combined North American intermodal volume was up 5.6%.

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