U.S. intermodal rail shipments in the week ending April 21 jumped 6 percent year-over-year and 2.2 percent from the previous week, according to the Association of American Railroads.
Carload volume slipped 3.6 percent year-over-year but gained 2 percent from the week prior. Shipments of coal, grain and farm products declined on a double-digit year-over-year basis, continuing a trend seen since the beginning of the year.
The sharp declines were partially offset by a 48.3 percent jump in petroleum product volume, a 22.8 percent gain in primary forest products and an 18.6 percent rise in lumber and wood products. The traffic of motor vehicles and equipment rose 32.9 percent year-over-year in the same period.
For the first 16 weeks of 2012, intermodal traffic rose 2.6 percent from the same period a year ago, and carload volume dropped 3.2 percent in the same period.
Canadian intermodal volume in the week ending April 21 grew 18.4 percent year-over-year, and carload volume rose 9.1 percent in the same period. So far this year, Canadian intermodal volume is up 7.7 percent year-over-year, and carload traffic has increased 5.1 percent.
Mexican intermodal volume last week skyrocketed 43.2 percent year-over-year, while carload traffic rose 27.3 percent in the same period. In the first 16 weeks of 2012, intermodal traffic rose 22.7 percent from the same period in 2011, and carload volume fell 5.3 percent in the same period.