Rail traffic continued to show signs of growth in the early weeks of 2014 with carloads and intermodal traffic both showing single digit growth. The AAR reported intermodal traffic 4.8% higher than last year which brought the 12 week moving average to a new high of 7.68%.
“For the first week of 2014 ending January 4, AAR reported increased rail traffic, with U.S. railroads originating 246,846 carloads, up 2.1 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 186,878 trailers and containers, up 4.8 percent compared with the same week last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first week of 2014 was 433,724 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.2 percent from last year.
Seven of 10 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2013, including: petroleum and petroleum products, up 20.2 percent; nonmetallic minerals and products, up 17.8 percent, and chemicals, up 13 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included motor vehicles and parts, down 27 percent, and metallic ores and metals, down 10.7 percent.”