Intermodal shipments on major U.S. railroads in August rose 4.3 percent, reaching the second strongest volume for the month on record, according to the Association of American Railroads.
Intermodal traffic in the week ending Sept. 1 jumped 6.5 percent year-over-year and was flat from the week prior. Carload volume in August fell 1.4 percent year-over-year and 3.5 percent in the week ending Sept. 1
“U.S. rail traffic in August was pretty much same song, different verse,” said AAR Senior Vice President John Gray. “Weakness in coal car loadings was largely but not entirely offset by increases in carloads of petroleum and petroleum products, autos, lumber, and several other commodities, with intermodal showing continued strength.”
Carloads excluding coal rose 3.3 percent in August compared to the same period a year ago, and carload traffic excluding grain and coal increased 3.5 percent in the same period. Coal traffic was down 9.4 percent in the first 35 weeks of the year, while grain volume was off 8.6 percent in the same time frame.
As of Sept 1., the amount of freight cars in storage fell 3,745 cars to 311,226 units, which is equal to about one-fifth of the North American fleet. U.S. container traffic rose 3.7 percent in the first 35 weeks of 2012; carload volume was down 2.4 percent in the same period.
Canadian intermodal volume in the week ending Sept. 1 rose 0.1 percent year-over-year, and carload volume inched up in the same period. So far this year, Canadian intermodal volume is up 6.9 percent year-over-year, and carload traffic is up 2.8 percent.
Mexican intermodal volume last week jumped 12.6 percent year-over-year, and carload traffic rose 2.3 percent in the same period. In the first 35 weeks of 2012, intermodal traffic rose 18.5 percent from the same period in 2011, but carload volume was down 0.5 percent.
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