Another strong week of rail data (via the AAR):

The Association of American Railroads today reported that rail traffic remains steady with U.S. railroads originating 284,716 carloads for the week ending June 26, 2010, up 11.4 percent compared with the same week in 2009, but down 13.2 percent from 2008. In order to offer a complete picture of the progress in rail traffic, AAR now reports 2010 weekly rail traffic with comparison weeks in both 2009 and 2008.Intermodal traffic totaled 227,229 trailers and containers, up 20.5 percent from a year ago and down only 1.1 percent compared with 2008. Compared with the same week in 2009, container volume increased 22.1 percent and trailer volume rose 12.3 percent. Compared with the same week in 2008, container volume increased 7.7 percent and trailer volume dropped 32.2 percent.

Seventeen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009, with metallic ores, up 172.2 percent; metals and metal products, up 75.4 percent; and motor vehicles and equipment, up 55.2 percent, posting the most significant gains. Four of the commodity groups – including farm products, metallic ores and nonmetallic minerals, posted an increase over 2008 levels.

Carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 14.5 percent from last year, but down 15.9 percent from 2008. In the West, carload volume was up 9.2 percent from last year but down 11.1 percent from two years ago.

For the first 25 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 7,052,186 carloads, up 7.4 percent from 2009, but down 13.4 percent from 2008, and 5,203,606 trailers or containers, up 12.1 percent from 2009, but down 7 percent from 2008.

Source: AAR


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  • prescient11

    Exactly, exactly. Also remember hearing comment on some business channel that rail traffic is up all around for the whole mix of products, and is up big time. CEOs seemed to be pretty optimistic.

  • boatman

    geez, presc, don’t look at the baltic dry it’ll scare the hell out of you…..i did.

  • quark

    my source in one of the largest aluminum companies tells me that demand fell off a month ago and has not recovered. Companies ordered to restock, got caught in a model of shrunken capacity, were scared and in some instances double ordered because they misread the demand and now it’s slack again.

    Do yourself a favor Prescient111 and stop believing comments on the business channels (they are marketing machines) and start talking to people you can trust in the industries your are interested in.

  • Johnny

    Seems like you’re assuming that every business misjudged demand so greatly. I’m skeptical of that.

    Aluminum has been the pits forever too.

    We’ll find out soon enough (I guess)

  • quark

    Aluminum has been in the pits and so has the economy. Irrespective of GDP, you can’t have only a earnings recovery from foreign demand. It will not sustain itself.