The downtrend in rail traffic continued this week as carloads expanded just 0.3% year over year and intermodal traffic expanded just 2.5% year over year. This is down sharply from the high single digit trend that had developed over much of the last year. The AAR reports:
“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported solid weekly rail traffic, with U.S. railroads originating 285,943 carloads for the week ending July 2, 2011, up 0.3 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 236,988 trailers and containers, up 2.5 percent compared with the same week last year.
Fifteen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases from the comparable week in 2010. Commodity groups posting solid increases included: farm products excluding grain, up 22.3 percent; metallic ores, up 18.5 percent, and lumber and wood products, up 14.3 percent. Waste and nonferrous scrap was the only group posting a notable decrease, down 12.3 percent.
Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 5.7 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 3.1 percent compared with the same week in 2010.
For the first 26 weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 7,539,227 carloads, up 2.7 percent from last year, and 5,856,133 trailers and containers, up 7.8 percent from the same point in 2010.”
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.