WASHINGTON— The Association of American Railroads July 1 reported that rail traffic remains steady with U.S. railroads originating 284,716 carloads for the week ending June 26, up 11.4 percent compared with the same week in 2009, but down 13.2 percent from 2008. In order to offer a complete picture of the progress in rail traffic, AAR now reports 2010 weekly rail traffic with comparison weeks in both 2009 and 2008.
Intermodal traffic totaled 227,229 trailers and containers, up 20.5 percent from a year ago and down only 1.1 percent compared with 2008. Compared with the same week in 2009, container volume increased 22.1 percent and trailer volume rose 12.3 percent. Compared with the same week in 2008, container volume increased 7.7 percent and trailer volume dropped 32.2 percent.
Seventeen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009, with metallic ores, up 172.2 percent; metals and metal products, up 75.4 percent; and motor vehicles and equipment, up 55.2 percent, posting the most significant gains. Four of the commodity groups – including farm products, metallic ores and nonmetallic minerals, posted an increase over 2008 levels.
Carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 14.5 percent from last year, but down 15.9 percent from 2008. In the West, carload volume was up 9.2 percent from last year but down 11.1 percent from two years ago.
For the first 25 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 7,052,186 carloads, up 7.4 percent from 2009, but down 13.4 percent from 2008, and 5,203,606 trailers or containers, up 12.1 percent from 2009, but down 7 percent from 2008.
Canadian railroads reported volume of 70,849 cars for the week, up 18.1 percent from last year, and 46,911 trailers or containers, up 22.4 percent from 2009. For the first 25 weeks of 2010, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,811,599 carloads, up 21.4 percent from last year, and 1,140,445 trailers or containers, up 13.5 percent from last year.
Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 15,428 cars, up 20.2 percent from the same week last year, and 7,249 trailers or containers, up 61.7 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 25 weeks of 2010 was reported as 344,473 carloads, up 22.3 percent from last year; and 163,167 trailers or containers, up 37.1 percent.
Combined North American rail volume for the first 25 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 9,208,258 carloads, up 10.4 percent from last year, and 6,507,218 trailers and containers, up 12.9 percent from last year.
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff may be contacted to comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.