U.S. freight traffic gains again in latest week

Written by Douglas John Bowen
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U.S. freight rail traffic for the week ending July 19, 2014 advanced yet again, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday, July 24, with Canadian rail traffic and Mexican carload traffic also increasing, and only Mexican intermodal failing to gain ground.

U.S. freight carload traffic rose a healthy 7.6% for the week, measured against the comparable week in 2013, while U.S. intermodal volume rose 5.6%. Total combined U.S. weekly rail traffic notched a 6.7% improvement over year-ago levels.

Just like the previous week, nine of 10 of the carload commodity groups AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2013. Standouts included motor vehicles and parts, up 46%, grain, up 27.4%, and petroleum and petroleum products, up 25.3%. Coal was the sole declining commodity, though down modestly, at 0.4%.

Canadian freight carload traffic for the week ending July 19 rose 11%, while Canadian intermodal was up 6.1% compared with a year ago. Mexican freight carload traffic also entered the winner’s circle, up 3.1%, but Mexican intermodal spoiled a weekly sweep, slipping 0.9% for the week compared with one year ago.

Combined North American freight carload traffic for the first 29 weeks of 2014 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 3% measured against the comparable period in 2013. Combined North American intermodal volume was up 6% over the year-ago level.

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