Rail traffic continued its volatile ride in the early part of the year with traffic now dipping into negative territory and only reflecting moderately positive growth overall. Carloads were off -5.2% while carloads declined -5.6%. Year to date rail traffic is up just 0.3% versus last year. AAR offers the details on this week’s report:
“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported a decline in weekly rail traffic for the week ending February 18, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 281,989 carloads, down 5.2 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 221,003 trailers and containers, down 5.6 percent compared with the same week last year.
Twelve of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 25.9 percent; lumber and wood products, up 22.9, and motor vehicles and equipment, up 11.7 percent. The groups showing a significant decrease in weekly traffic included coal, down 13.9 percent, and farm products excluding grain, down 13.4 percent.
Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 7.3 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 3.7 percent compared with the same week in 2011.
For the first seven weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,990,836 carloads, up 0.3 percent from last year, and 1,558,437 trailers and containers, up 2.2 percent from last year.”