No big changes in the rail trends this week. Growth is still modest in intermodal with the 10 week moving average at 3.7%. Not bad, but not great. Overall consistent with a growing, but sluggish economy. The AAR has details:
“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported mixed weekly rail traffic for the week ending May 5, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 276,136 carloads, down 2 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 239,031 trailers and containers, up 3 percent compared with the same week last year.
Fourteen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2011, with petroleum products, up 47 percent; motor vehicles and equipment, up 31.2 percent, and lumber and wood products, up 23.1. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included grain, down 22.7 percent; farm products excluding grain, down 11.9 percent, and coal, down 10.1 percent.
Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 1.7 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 2.3 percent compared with the same week in 2011.
For the first 18 weeks of 2012, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 5,068,331 carloads, down 3.2 percent from the same point last year, and 4,114,427 trailers and containers, up 2.8 percent from last year.”