AAR: RAIL INTERMODAL TRAFFIC, CARLOADINGS DECLINE
U.S. intermodal rail traffic declined 4.1 percent and rail carload traffic slipped 3.1 percent in January, according to results reported by the Association of American Railroads.
Major U.S. railroads handled 784,649 containers and trailers in the five-week period ending Feb. 2. Total estimated ton-miles was off 1.2 percent, to 137.1 billion.
Carload traffic was 1.56 million units. Fourteen of 19 commodity categories tracked by the AAR saw declines, led by metallic ores (down 21 percent), coal (1.7 percent), metals and metal products (10.0 percent), and chemicals (4.0 percent). Motor vehicles and equipment improved 5.9 percent and grain mill products rose 3.3 percent.
'The consensus view appears to e that more vigorous economic growth will return by the middle of this year,' said Craig f. Rockey, AAR vice president. 'If it does, we can expect an improvement in rail carloadings.'
Canadian carloads were down 7.3 percent in January, while intermodal traffic was off 3.5 percent.
Combined cumulative volume on 18 U.S. and Canadian railroads totaled 1.85 million carloads, down 3.8 percent, and 943,159 trailers and containers, down 4.0 percent, in January.