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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR weekly report: North American railroads maintain traffic momentum


During the week ending July 3, U.S. railroads moved more traffic than they did in the comparison weeks from both 2008 and 2009. However, those comparison weeks included the July 4th holiday.

The railroads originated 286,777 carloads, up 18.8 percent, and 231,286 intermodal loads — the highest since 2008's 42nd week — up 36.6 percent year over year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Eighteen of the 19 carload commodity groups posted gains. However, agricultural product traffic slipped 1 percent. Ag traffic is trending slower seasonally, according to Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.’s weekly “Rail Flash” report.

But despite "volatility,” a 5 percent year-over-year gain in the second quarter is “tracking roughly with the USDA estimate of 6 percent year-over-year increases in combined corn, wheat and soybeans this past harvest,” Baird analysts said in the report.
Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported weekly volume of 68,956 carloads, up 21.3 percent, and 44,110 intermodal loads, up 22.2 percent. For the week ending July 3, Mexican railroads originated 13,949 carloads, up 21.9 percent, and 5,666 containers and trailers, up 21.3 percent year over year.
Through 2010’s first 26 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads originated 9.6 million carloads, up 10.8 percent, and 6.8 million intermodal loads, up 13.6 percent.

For more AAR data for the week ending July 3 and through 26 weeks, follow this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/9/2010