U.S. rail freight down in March
U.S. rail carload traffic declined 3.4 percent in March to 1.31 million carloads, compared to the same month a year ago, the Association of American Railroads reported.
Intermodal rail traffic, which comprises trailers and containers on flat cars and is not included in carload figures, totaled 908,109 units in March, down 1.4 percent compared with March 2006.
“U.S. rail carload traffic dipped in March 2007 compared to a strong March 2006 because overall freight transportation demand is down a bit,” said Craig F. Rockey, AAR vice president. “The low demand for building products (in part because of housing weakness), difficult times for the auto industry, and severe spring snows and flooding in the West which halted coal mining, have left their mark on rail volumes.”
For the first three months of 2007, U.S. rail carloadings were down 4.9 percent to 4.12 million carloads, while intermodal traffic was up 0.2 percent to 2.94 million trailers and containers. Total volume was estimated at 419.2 billion ton-miles, down 3.6 percent from the first quarter of 2006.