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Rail News: Intermodal

Week No. 41: Ferromex's fortunes up, U.S. roads' tallies down on both sides of AAR traffic ledger


October’s first full week wasn’t a good one for U.S. railroads. During the week ending Oct. 11, their carloads totaling 331,402 units decreased 1.4 percent and intermodal volume totaling 234,732 units declined 3.3 percent compared with totals from the same 2007 period, according to the Association of American Railroads.

Through 2008’s first 41 weeks, U.S. roads originated 13.3 million carloads, down 0.3 percent, and 9.2 million containers and trailers, down 3 percent year over year. Total volume reached an estimated 1.39 trillion ton-miles, up 0.8 percent.

Canadian railroads had a much better week on the intermodal side of the traffic equation. During the period ending Oct. 11, they handled 50,205 containers and trailers, up 11.6 percent compared with volume from the same week last year. However, their carloads fell 2.1 percent to 75,363 units.

Through 41 weeks, Canadian railroads originated 3 million carloads, down 4.3 percent, and 2 million containers and trailers, up 4.2 percent year over year. On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 41 weeks, reporting U.S. and Canadian roads handled 16.4 million carloads, down 1.1 percent, and 11.2 million intermodal loads, down 1.8 percent.

In Mexico, Ferrocarril Mexicano S.A. de C.V. (Ferromex) reported weekly volume of 13,818 carloads, up 23 percent, and 4,139 intermodal loads, up 48 percent vs. last year’s totals for week No. 41. Through 41 weeks, Ferromex handled 504,591 carloads, up 1.5 percent, and 119,162 trailers or containers, down 0.1 percent.

Meanwhile, Kansas City Southern de México S.A. de C.V. reported weekly volume of 10,591 carloads, down 4.1 percent, and 5,935 intermodal loads, up 4.8 percent year over year. Through 41 weeks, the railroad’s carloads declined 5.6 percent to 421,405 units, but intermodal volume increased 8.1 percent to 203,721 units.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/17/2008