Rail- AAR Week 42 scorecard: Only seven U.S. carload commodity groups posted gains.- Progressive Railroading

Posted: October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

October 26, 2012

Fewer U.S. carload commodity groups registered an uptick last week, which turned out to be another tough one for U.S. railroads. For the week ending Oct. 20, they originated 288,791 carloads, down 4.4 percent year over year, according to the Association of American Railroads.

Only seven of 20 commodity groups posted increases, led by farm products excluding grain (87 percent), petroleum products (60.5 percent), and lumber and wood products (19.8 percent). Iron and steel scrap loads tumbled 25.5 percent, coal volume declined 13.9 percent, and waste and nonferrous scrap carloads fell 13.2 percent.

Although chemical shipments showed continued strength, that growth was outpaced by weak coal trends, contracting industrial volumes and moderating auto carloads against difficult year-over-year comparisons, said Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. analysts in their weekly “Rail Flash” report.

At least intermodal volume continued to rise for U.S. roads. For the week ending Oct. 20, they handled 253,883 containers and trailers, up 3.5 percent compared with the same 2011 period.

“Union Pacific recently announced its southern California intermodal market was again experiencing capacity constraints on increased demand,” Baird analysts said.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported weekly carloads totaling 77,819, down 3.6 percent, and intermodal volume totaling 53,407 units, up 3.9 year over year. Mexican railroads’ weekly carloads dipped 3 percent to 14,372 units, but their intermodal volume jumped 46.9 percent to 11,611 units.

Through 2012’s first 42 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads originated 15,743,231 carloads, down 1.6 percent, and 12,557,164 containers and trailers, up 4.7 percent compared with the same 2011 period.



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