North American intermodal volume increased 1.8 percent year-over-year in the week ending July 6, after breaking its recent upward trend and falling 1.4 percent last week, according to the Association of American Railroads. Prior to last week, North American intermodal volume had been up for 12 weeks straight.
Combined North American carload volume, for the three North American Free Trade Agreement partners, inched up 0.4 percent from the same week in 2012 to 332,293 carloads, but was down 11 percent week-to-week. Week-to-week declines were seen across the board, most likely due to the Fourth of July holiday in the U.S. This was the fourth straight week of small yearly increases in carloads. Total North American carload volume for 2013 year-to-date, at 9,982,600 carloads, is 0.3 percent less than in the same period of 2012.
North American intermodal volume increased to 265,556 trailers and containers, up 1.8 percent year-over-year. It also fell 15.4 percent from the week before. Total intermodal volume for the first 27 weeks of 2013, 8,144,364 units, was 3.6 percent higher than the level seen in the same period in 2012.
U.S. carload volume in the week ending July 6 was up 2 percent year-over-year, but down 12 percent from the week before, slipping to 247,896 carloads. Year-over-year increases have accelerated in the past two weeks. U.S. intermodal volume rebounded 1.1 percent after declining 1.5 percent year-over-year last week. However, it fell 17.7 percent month-to-month to 205,597 trailers and containers.
“Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, including petroleum and petroleum products, up 36.3 percent, and nonmetallic minerals and products, up 11.6 percent. Commodities showing a decrease compared with the same week last year included motor vehicles and parts, down 13.8 percent," the AAR noted in this week’s release.
Canadian carload volume fell roughly 7.3 percent year-over-year, to 68,361 carloads, and was 8.9 percent below the prior week. This was the second straight yearly decline. Canadian intermodal volume rose 5 percent year-over-year to 50,860 trailers and containers and was down 5.7 percent week-to-week.
Mexican carload traffic marked the 14th consecutive week of growth, reaching 16,036 carloads, up 13.7 percent year-over-year, but down 6 percent week-to-week. Mexican intermodal traffic edged up 0.2 percent from the same week last year to 9,099 trailers and containers, following three straight year-over-year drops. Intermodal traffic also fell 12.4 percent week-to-week.