Executive Briefings

U.S. Rail Traffic Dips in Beginning of September, But Intermodal Sees Strong Growth

U.S. freight carload traffic for the week ending Sept. 1 declined 3.4 percent measured against the comparable week of 2011, the Association of American Railroads said. But U.S. intermodal continued its winning streak, up a robust 6.5 percent during the week compared with one year ago.

AAR said 10 of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, led by petroleum products, up 44.1 percent, farm products excluding grain, up 22 percent, and lumber and wood products, up 20.7 percent. Declining commodities were led by metallic ores, down 17.2 percent, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 16.6 percent. Coal fell 9.4 percent.

Canadian freight carload volume eked out a modest 0.1-percent rise for the week ending Sept. 1 compared with the same week one year ago, while Canadian intermodal rose a more substantial 3.9 percent. Mexican freight carload volume also rose, up 2.3 percent for the week, while Mexican intermodal advanced 12.6 percent.

Combined North American freight carload volume for the first 35 weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was down 1.3 percent from the comparable period in 2011, while combined North American intermodal was up 4.7 percent.

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AAR said 10 of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, led by petroleum products, up 44.1 percent, farm products excluding grain, up 22 percent, and lumber and wood products, up 20.7 percent. Declining commodities were led by metallic ores, down 17.2 percent, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 16.6 percent. Coal fell 9.4 percent.

Canadian freight carload volume eked out a modest 0.1-percent rise for the week ending Sept. 1 compared with the same week one year ago, while Canadian intermodal rose a more substantial 3.9 percent. Mexican freight carload volume also rose, up 2.3 percent for the week, while Mexican intermodal advanced 12.6 percent.

Combined North American freight carload volume for the first 35 weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was down 1.3 percent from the comparable period in 2011, while combined North American intermodal was up 4.7 percent.

Read Full Article