U.S. intermodal shipments on major railroads in the week ending June 2 rose 4.1 percent year-over-year but fell 12.6 percent from the week before, according to the Association of American Railroads.
Carload volume fell 3.1 percent year-over-year and 9 percent from the prior week. A 6.5 percent year-over-year drop in grain shipments and coal volume plunging 11.2 percent in the same period drove the decline. Shipments of petroleum products jumped 48.8 percent year-over-year, while motor vehicle and equipment, and iron and steel scrap volume saw double-digit growth.
For the first 22 weeks of 2012, intermodal traffic rose 2.9 percent from the same period a year ago; carload traffic declined 3.1 percent in the same period. Class I railroad employment in May expanded nearly 1 percent to 1,353 employees from April. The amount of railcars in storage rose 1.6 percent to 312,938 railcars, equaling about 20 percent of the North American fleet.
Canadian intermodal volume in the week ending June 2 fell 6.6 percent year-over-year, and carload volume dropped 7.5 percent in the same period, as Canadian Pacific Railway recovered from a week-long strike. So far this year, Canadian intermodal volume is up 6.4 percent year-over-year, and carload traffic is up 3.5 percent.
Mexican intermodal volume last week rose 13.7 percent year-over-year, and carload traffic was up 8.8 percent in the same period. In the first 22 weeks of 2012, intermodal traffic rose 20.5 percent from the same period in 2011, but carload volume fell 3.1 percent in the same period.
Contact Mark Szakonyi at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @szakonyi_joc.