U.S. intermodal rail shipments in the week ending March 17 rose 2 percent year-over-year, and traffic was flat on a week-to-week basis, according to the Association of American Railroads.
Carload traffic fell 5.3 percent year-over-year, as shipments of grain fell 8.4 percent and coal traffic plummeted 14.7 percent. A 39.9 percent jump in petroleum product volume and a 14.8 percent increase in motor vehicle and auto shipments helped offset the declines in railroads’ two major markets.
For the first 11 weeks of 2012, U.S. intermodal traffic was up 2.3 percent, while carload volume was down 1.8 percent compared to the same period in 2011.
Canadian intermodal volume fell 1.4 percent year-over-year in the week ending March 17, while carload traffic rose 3.2 percent in the same period. So far this year, Canadian intermodal volume is up 6.1 percent on a year-over-year basis; and carload traffic has increased 6.4 percent.
Mexican intermodal volume rose 36.5 percent year-over-year in the last week against a 1.3 percent decline in carload traffic. For the first 11 weeks of the year, intermodal traffic is up 21.5 percent year-over-year, while carload volume is down 6.7 percent in the same period.