Intermodal volume for U.S. railroads grew 3 percent year-over-year in the first full week of December, helped by container shipments that maintained most of their momentum heading toward the end of the 2011.
Intermodal container volume expanded 4.6 percent in the week ending Dec. 10, according to figures from the Association of American Railroads, and that business slipped back only 1.1 percent from the week before, a relatively strong showing as the normal seasonal slowdown begins to take hold.
Truck trailer traffic has been weaker, falling 5.2 percent year-over-year in the most recent week. But that volume actually grew slightly from the week ending Dec. 3, part of the positive performance the U.S. domestic shipping arena is seeing in late 2011.
Carload business also maintained its momentum, growing 3.7 percent year-over-year in the latest week, according to the AAR.
The carload volume fell 4.5 percent the week ending Dec. 10 from the week before, but several major industrial commodities — including metals and metallic ores — expanded at a double-digit pace over the same week a year ago.