Rail Traffic Continues 2013 at a Positive Pace

Rail traffic is continuing to show positive signs here as we head deeper into 2013.  Intermodal traffic was up 5.3% year over year which brings the 12 week moving average to a very healthy 4.84%.  That’s up from 1.3% earlier this year.

Here’s the AAR with more details:

“AAR also reported mixed rail traffic for the week ending Feb.16, 2013, with total U.S. weekly carloads of 278,596 carloads, down 1.2 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 251,078 units, up 13.6 percent compared with the same week last year.  Total U.S. traffic for the week was 529,674 carloads and intermodal units, up 5.3 percent compared with the same week last year.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, with petroleum products, up 56.1 percent, and nonmetallic minerals and products, up 12.1 percent. Commodities showing a decrease were led by grain, down 14.3 percent.

For the first seven weeks of 2013, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,891,569 carloads, down 5 percent from the same point last year, and 1,664,387 intermodal units, up 6.8 percent from last year. Total U.S. traffic for the first seven weeks of 2013 was 3,555,956 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.2 percent from last year.”

Chart via Orcam Investment Research:

Cullen Roche

Mr. Roche is the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC. Orcam is a financial services firm offering research, private advisory, institutional consulting and educational services.

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  • http://www.conventionalwisdumb.com Conventional Wisdumb

    Cullen,

    Why only focus on Intermodal? Is it more important?

    Thanks.

    “For the first seven weeks of 2013, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,891,569 carloads, down 5 percent from the same point last year, and 1,664,387 intermodal units, up 6.8 percent from last year. Total U.S. traffic for the first seven weeks of 2013 was 3,555,956 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.2 percent from last year.”

  • http://www.orcamgroup.com Cullen Roche

    It tends to track the actual GDP figures better. Carloads, for instance, have been contracting for a year now….If you just followed carloads you’d have thought the economy was a mess a long time ago….

  • KB

    Cullen,

    I am quite puzzled. When I see other numbers like ATA, ports, overseas, and global trade, plus FedEx and UPS, the numbers do not add.

    Unfortunately, I have limited access to data and not a real expert in transportation, but my feeling is present intermodal growth is, at least partially, due to some fundamental shift in shipments distribution through different channels. Do you have any thoughts on this?

  • Fleck

    Do you think that these numbers are unduly skewed by the transportation of petro. I know there is a crap load of Canadian oil being shipped south because of pipeline constraints.

  • http://www.conventionalwisdumb.com Conventional Wisdumb

    Thank you. That is interesting.