US intermodal freight highest since Nov. 2008; pulp and paper carloads up in latest week

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US intermodal freight highest since Nov. 2008; pulp and paper carloads up in latest week

June 04, 2010 - 14:03
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SAN FRANCISCO, June 4, 2010 (RISI) -Intermodal volume on US freight railroads for the week ended May 29 reached its highest level since November 2008, the Assn of American Railroads reported. Intermodal traffic totaled 225,111 trailers and containers, up 35.5% from last year and 10.3% from 2008. Unlike 2008 and 2009, Week 21 of 2010 did not include the Memorial Day holiday.

US railroads also originated 286,665 carloads during the week ended May 29, up 21.9% from the comparable week in 2009, but down 8.9% from 2008. All 19 carload commodities increased from the comparable week in 2009 and three groups posted increases over 2008 levels.

Carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 41.1% from last year, but down 10.9% from 2008. In the West, carload volume was up 11.1% from last year but down 7.5% from two years ago.

For the first 21 weeks of 2010, US railroads reported cumulative volume of 5.923 million carloads, up 7.2% from 2009, but down 13.5% from 2008.

Canadian railroads reported volume of 70,699 cars for the week, up 29.7% from last year. For 21 weeks of 2010, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 1.522 million carloads, up 21% from last year.

US pulp and paper rail volume for the week at 6,062 carloads was 5.2% higher than in 2009 and year-to-date at 114,763 carloads was 3.5% lower, AAR showed. Canadian pulp and paper freight was down 2.8% and 1.2% respectively, and combined North American freight was up 2% for the week and down 2.9% year-to-date.

North American lumber and wood products freight for the week at 4,459 carloads was up 4.7% and for 21 weeks at 102,242 was 11.6% higher.