The recession kept hitting every category of commodity and consumer goods carried on U.S. railroads in the first week of March.
Overall freight traffic was down 13.9 percent to an estimated 29.2 billion ton-miles in the week ending March 7, according to the Association of American Railroads.
Intermodal trailers sank 34 percent while containers dropped only 6 percent to bring all intermodal traffic down 12.7 percent with 180,047 units hauled.
Metals and products was the hardest hit commodity group, falling 57.3 percent. Other raw materials for manufacturing, such as waste and scrap materials, chemicals, metallic ores, continued steep declines. Grain shipments declined 17.7 percent. Farm products other than grain dropped 41.4 percent. Motor vehicles and equipment eased the year’s 55.7 percent declining pace with a 47 percent plunge.