U.S. Rail Traffic Sets New Record in April: All 19 Commodity Groups Increased vs. Last Year
From the Association of American Railroads (AAR) report released yesterday:
U.S. freight railroads saw a 15.8 percent rise in carloads during April 2010 compared with the same month last year (see charts above), and a decline of 11.5 percent compared with the same month in 2008.
According to AAR’s May 2010 Rail Time Indicators Report, 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. U.S. rail intermodal traffic, which covers the movement of truck trailers and shipping containers by rail, was up 14.3 percent in April 2010 compared with the same month last year, but down 6.9 percent from the same month in 2008.
Commodities showing notable monthly carload gains in April 2010 included primary metal products, up 90.5 percent compared with April of 2009, and coal, up 7.1 percent compared with the same month last year. This is the first monthly gain in coal traffic since December of 2008.
"Last month’s favorable results come with a footnote that April 2009 was a particularly bad month for rail traffic,” said AAR Senior Vice President John Gray. "That said, rail traffic last month suggests the early phase of a broad based recovery is underway. Although the recovery may not be happening as quickly as we’d like, conditions are better today than they were even a few months ago."