WASHINGTON, D.C. – Aug. 5, 2010 – "The Association of American Railroads reported today that for the week ending July 31, 2010, U.S. railroads reported the highest traffic levels of 2010 for both carload and intermodal traffic. U.S. railroads originated 300,292 carloads for the week, up 9.4 percent compared with the same week in 2009, but down 10.6 percent from the same week in 2008.
Intermodal traffic totaled 232,895 trailers and containers, up 20.2 percent from the same week in 2009, and up 0.9 percent compared with 2008. Compared with the same week in 2009, container volume increased 21.9 percent and trailer volume rose 11.7 percent. Compared with the same week in 2008, container volume increased 9 percent and trailer volume dropped 28.9 percent.
Eighteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009 with only waste and scrap, down 1.9 percent, posting a decline. Metallic ores, up 73 percent, and metals and products, up 35.2 percent, were the commodities posting the most significant increases."
MP: Both the carload freight loadings and intermodal rail volumes for the last week of July were at their highest level for both 2009 and 2010 (see top chart above). Compared to 2009, carload traffic has improved in almost every week since late February, and for intermodal rail, the positive trend started back in January, and has experienced double-digit gains in most weeks since April. According to Warren Buffett's favorite economic indicator (rail freight), it looks like the economy has been doing better recently than at any time since 2008, and the recovery continues to gain momemtum almost weekly.