The latest weekly rail traffic reading showed a bit of moderation, but still a healthy rate of growth. Intermodal traffic came in at 3% vs last year. This brought the 12 week moving average down to 6.45%. We seem to be seeing growth moderate some which is not surprising since the double digit rates we saw at the end of 2013 seem unsustainable in an environment where growth is broader growth is modest. Still, growth is growth.
Here’s more detail via AAR:
“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported increased U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Jan. 25, 2014 with 280,761 total U.S. carloads, up 5.6 percent compared with the same week last year. Total U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 245,883 units up 3 percent compared with the same week last year. Total combined U.S. weekly rail traffic was 526,644 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.4 percent compared with the same week last year.Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2013, including grain with 23,175 carloads, up 24.4 percent; and, petroleum and petroleum products with 15,211 carloads, up 13.1 percent. Commodities showing a decrease compared with the same week last year included metallic ores and metals with 22,539 carloads, down 1.8 percent.For the first four weeks of 2014, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,074,281 carloads, up 0.9 percent from the same point last year, and 936,176 intermodal units, up 1.8 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first four weeks of 2014 was 2,010,457 carloads and intermodal units, up 1.3 percent from last year.”