SAN FRANCISCO, May 14, 2010 (RISI) -Total US railroad freight showed an 11th
consecutive week of gains, with a 14.7% increase in the week ending May 18 from last year, the Assn of American Railroads reported, although carloads were still 13.9% below the comparable week in 2008.
Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 16.3% from last year, but down 20.1% from 2008. In the West, carload volume was up 13.7% from last year but down 9.1% from two years ago.
Year-to-date total US rail freight through 18 weeks of 2010 at 5.058 million carloads was 5.8% higher than 2009.
US pulp and paper rail freight for the week ending May 18 at 5,584 carloads was 3.3% higher and year-to-date at 98,070 carloads was 4.1% lower than last year, AAR showed. US lumber and wood products volume for the week at 2,870 carloads was up 23.4% and year-to-date at 48,100 carloads was 12.4% higher. Primary forest products were up 28.7% and 18.6% respectively.
Canadian pulp and paper freight at 3,230 carloads for the week were 3.4% higher and through 18 weeks at 62,177 carloads was off 1.8% from 2009. Weekly lumber and wood products at 2,375 carloads was up 19.5% and year-to-date at 62,177 carloads was 10.5% higher.
Mexican pulp and paper rail freight was down 48.6% and 42.2% respectively.
AAR said total US freight for the month of April was increased 15.8% compared with the same month last year, but declined 11.5% from 2008.
AAR said all 19 major commodity categories saw higher carloads last month compared with the same month last year, marking a first since AAR's data series began in 1989.
Shortline and regional rail operator Genesee & Wyoming reported April pulp and paper freight at 6,743 carloads was up 9.4% from 2009 and lumber and wood products at 6,001 carloads was 8.3% higher. RailAmerica reported April pulp and paper freight at 4,748 carloads was down 3.6% from last year and forest products at 4,520 carloads was 20.2% higher.