Intermodal volume hauled by major U.S. railroads surged 7.4 percent year-over-year in the week ending Jan. 14 and skyrocketed 18.2 percent from the week prior, suggesting American companies see strong demand this year.
Carload traffic rose 5.5 percent year-over-year and 8.2 percent from the prior week, a sign manufacturers have a similar confidence degree of confidence, according to the Association of American Railroads. The strong carload suggests the 0.4 percent ramp up in U.S. industrial production in December will carry through into January.
Seventeen of the 20 carload commodity groups reported year-over-year increases, with crushed, stone, sand and gravel traffic up 32.3 percent; and motor vehicle and equipment shipments up 31.5 percent. Grain shipments fell 10.1 percent in the same period.
For the first two weeks of 2012, U.S. railroad saw intermodal traffic rise 1 percent year-over-year and carloads shipment increase 0.9 percent in the same period. Total North American intermodal traffic in the same period rose 0.1 percent and carload shipments increased 0.5 percent.