The brief slow-down in rail traffic data in early 2011 looks like to have been a blip on the radar as rail traffic posts its second week of very strong double digit growth. The AAR is reporting a 16.9% year over year improvement in intermodal traffic this week as well as an 8.2% improvement in overall carloads:
“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported freight traffic continues to register gains with U.S. railroads originating 296,980 carloads, up 8.2 percent compared with the same week last year, for the week ending Feb. 19, 2011. Intermodal volume for the week was also up, totaling 233,993 trailers and containers, up 16.9 percent compared with the same week in 2010.
Sixteen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases from the comparable week in 2010. Those groups posting significant increases in loadings included: metallic ores, up 77.6; stone, clay and glass products, up 20.2 percent; nonmetallic minerals, up 18.9 percent; coke, up 17.8 percent, and motor vehicles and equipment, up 16.3 percent. Those commodity groups reporting a drop in weekly traffic saw only single digit declines: grain mill products, down 9 percent; waste and nonferrous scrap, down 7.2 percent, and primary forest products, down 0.8 percent.
Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 12.7 percent compared with last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 5.4 percent compared with the same week in 2010.
For the first seven weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,981,437 carloads, up 6.7 percent from last year, and 1,524,340 trailers and containers, up 9.1 percent from the same point in 2010.”