This week’s rail data showed marginal signs of improvement, though traffic is still down sharply from last year. AAR reports:
WASHINGTON, June 18, 2009 — Freight traffic on U.S. railroads during the week ended June 13 continued to show signs of gradual improvement, the Association of American Railroads reported today. Rail carloadings and intermodal were up from the previous week with carloads at their highest level in 10 weeks. While traffic showed signs of improvement from the previous week, compared year over year traffic remains down.
U.S railroads reported originating 261,956 cars, up 0.6 percent from the previous week this year, but down 19 percent from the same week in 2008. Regionally, carloadings were down 14.7 percent in the West and 24.8 percent in the East.
Intermodal volume of 189,508 trailers or containers was up 0.4 percent from the previous week, but was down 17 percent from the same week last year. Container volume fell 11.5 percent and trailer volume dropped 37.0 percent.
Total volume on U.S. railroads for the week ending June 13 was estimated at 27.7 billion ton-miles, off 17.8 percent from the same week last year.
The idea of a quick recovery is all but off the table, in my opinion, after the very weak data in the FedEx numbers and the rails data.