Rail traffic continues to trend higher according to the latest data from the AAR. Total carloads rose 4.3% year over year and intermodal traffic jumped 9.5% year over year:
“U.S. railroads originated 287,639 carloads during the week, up 4.3 percent from the comparable week in 2009, but down 10.7 percent from 2008. In order to offer a complete picture of the progress in rail traffic, AAR now reports 2010 weekly rail traffic with comparison weeks in both 2009 and 2008.
Intermodal traffic totaled 201,300 trailers and containers, up 9.5 percent from last year but down 4.6 percent compared with 2008. Compared with the same week in 2009, container volume increased 12.3 percent and trailer volume dipped 3.2 percent. Compared with the same week in 2008, container volume was up 3.6 percent while trailer volume fell 33.1 percent.”
“Sixteen of 19 carload commodity groups showed gains from a year ago, with 13 of them showing double digit percentage gains, led by a 69.2 percent increase in loadings of metals and products. Other commodities showing significant increases included grain, up 24 percent; motor vehicles, up 20.8 percent; waste and scrap, up 33.1 percent; lumber and wood products, up 21.8 percent, and chemicals, up 14.4 percent. Coal loadings lagged 6.4 percent while pulp, paper and allied products slipped 6.1 percent.”