No big change in rail traffic trends this week as intermodal traffic grew at a healthy 6.2% year over year rate and total carloads came in at -1.9%. This mixed performance has been the norm for the majority of 2012 as economic growth has remained uneven. The continued rise in intermodal traffic brings the 10 week moving average to 5.2% – a pretty healthy clip for an economy that is slowing….The AAR has more details:
“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported mixed weekly rail traffic for the week ending July 21, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 286,254 carloads, down 1.9 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 246,475 trailers and containers, up 6.2 percent compared with the same week last year.
Seven of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 50.1 percent; food and kindred products, up 13.8 percent, and coke, up 10.6 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included iron and steel scrap, down 24.2 percent; grain, down 16.9 percent, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 12.3 percent.
Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 5.2 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 0.3 percent compared with the same week in 2011.
For the first 29 weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 8,140,384 carloads, down 2.6 percent from the same point last year, and 6,745,482 trailers and containers, up 3.6 percent from last year.”