Larger U.S. railroads reported intermodal volume up 3.5 percent versus the same week last year, at 253,883 trailers and containers, during the week ending October 20, according to figures released by the Association of American Railroads. They originated 288,791 carloads for the week, down 4.4 percent compared with the same week in 2011, but up 1.3 percent from the week before.
Railroad trailer traffic tumbled 12.9 percent year-over-year and declined 1.3 percent from the level seen the week before. Year-to-date trailer traffic, at 1,244,018 units, is 9.0 percent below the same period last year.
Container traffic was up 6.1 percent year-over-year and increased 1.6 percent above the level posted the week before. Year-to-date 2012 container traffic, totaling 8,723,068 units, was 5.8 percent ahead of the same period last year.
Seven of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, the AAR said, with farm products excluding grain up 87.0 percent, petroleum products up 60.5 percent, and lumber and wood products up 19.8 percent. Sizeable decreases were seen in volumes of iron and steel scrap, down 21 percent; coal, down 13.9 percent; and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 13.2 percent.
Year-to date carload traffic, at 11,899,725 units, was 2.8 percent below the same period last year.
AAR data for U.S. railroads does not include the U.S. operations of Canadian National and Canadian Pacific.