Thursday, July 01, 2010

Rail Traffic Continues Double-Digit Gains vs.2009

Highlights of this week's Rail Traffic Report:

1. U.S. railroads originated 284,716 carloads for the week ending June 26, 2010, up 11.4 percent compared with the same week in 2009 (but down 13.2 percent from 2008).

2. Intermodal traffic totaled 227,229 trailers and containers, up 20.5 percent from a year ago and down only 1.1 percent compared with 2008.

3. Compared with the same week in 2009, container volume increased 22.1 percent and trailer volume rose 12.3 percent.

4. Seventeen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009, with metallic ores, up 172.2 percent; metals and metal products, up 75.4 percent; and motor vehicles and equipment, up 55.2 percent, posting the most significant gains.

5. Combined North American rail volume (U.S., Canada and Mexico) for the first 25 weeks of 2010 totaled 9,208,258 carloads, up 10.4 percent from last year, and 6,507,218 trailers and containers, up 12.9 percent from last year.

MP: Compared to last year, almost every measure of rail traffic for the U.S., Canada and Mexico has registered double-digit percent increases, and some measures like intermodal traffic in the U.S. are just slightly below 2008 levels. 

2 Comments:

At 7/01/2010 4:44 PM, Anonymous Bobtrumpet said...

Is there a similar increase in truck traffic (from RR depot to warehouse)?

And is there any measure of the actual quantity goods being moved? I.e., full containers vs. half full, or even empty?

 
At 7/03/2010 12:13 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

MP: Compared to last year, almost every measure of rail traffic for the U.S., Canada and Mexico has registered double-digit percent increases, and some measures like intermodal traffic in the U.S. are just slightly below 2008 levels.

The comparisons are very easy so the picture looks brighter than it is. The 2009 period was one of an economic contraction where inventory levels were allowed to fall significantly and the shipment of materials and goods slowed. We are now near the end of an inventory rebuild that has seen shipments pick up. This does not allow us to forecast anything meaningful yet. While things could improve the real headwinds are strong and will be difficult to fight through. The only way to argue for a positive picture is to admit that the liquidation of malinvestments that is necessary for a real recovery to take place have been postponed temporarily. But that would only mean that the improvement will be very short and that the eventual contraction will have to be deeper and longer.

Frankly, I can't figure out why why you do not look at the lessons of history and call for the present government to follow the path chosen by Harding rather than the one taken by Hoover/FDR.

 

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