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AAR weekly report: More traffic gains for North American railroads


Another week, another notch on U.S. railroads’ traffic belt. During the week ending Nov. 20, they originated 297,990 carloads, up 3.9 percent, and 235,999 intermodal loads, up 10.6 percent compared with volumes from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Fourteen of 19 carload commodity groups registered gains.

However, overall rail volumes have moderated from a more than 12 percent year-over-year gain in the third quarter to a more than 10 percent gain so far in the fourth quarter, according to Robert W. Baird & Co Inc.’s weekly “Rail Flash” report.

“During the past couple of weeks, rail volumes have modestly improved relative to seasonal expectations,” Baird analysts said in the report. “Recent commentary from rails and industrial shippers remains positive for overall 2011 volume growth in excess of GDP growth.”
Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported weekly volume of 75,649 carloads, up 5 percent, and 48,521 containers and trailers, up 12.8 percent year over year. Mexican railroads boosted carload volume 6.3 percent to 12,997 units and increased intermodal volume 1.8 percent to 6,547 units.

Through 2010’s first 46 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads originated 17.2 million carloads, up 9.4 percent, and 12.6 million containers and trailers, up 14.8 percent.

For more AAR traffic data for the week ending Nov. 20 and through 46 weeks, follow this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/29/2010