No signs of letting up in the latest rail traffic from AAR. Although we’re off the year over year highs and the breadth of the commodity groups continues to deteriorate the data is still consistent with a robust rail sector:
“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported that weekly rail traffic continues to show improvement over 2009 levels with U.S. railroads originating 303,664 carloads for the week ending Oct. 16, 2010, up 10.1 percent compared with the same week last year. AAR will no longer report 2010 weekly rail traffic with 2008 weekly comparison data since October 2008 marked the beginning of the recession-related downturn in rail traffic.Intermodal traffic for the week totaled 237,180 trailers and containers, up 15.1 percent compared with the same week a year ago, with container volume up 15.8 percent and trailer volume up 11.1 percent.
Fourteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009, with metallic ores continuing to post the most significant gain, up 183.2 percent. Stone, clay and glass products, up 32 percent; crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 30.9 percent; grain, up 20.1 percent; and metals and products, up 20 percent, also posted notable increases. Commodity groups posting declines were led by non-metallic minerals, down 25.9 percent.
Carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 5.8 percent compared with last year. In the West, carload volume was up 13.1 percent from the same week in 2009.
For the first 41 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 11,728,922 carloads, up 7.3 percent from last year, and 8,896,158 trailers or containers, up 14.7 percent from the comparison week in 2009.”