Friday, April 16, 2010

Weekly U.S. Rail Freight Traffic Rises Sharply Again

WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 15, 2010 - "The Association of American Railroads today reported that freight traffic on U.S. railroads was once again up sharply for the week ended April 10, 2010 compared with the same period a year ago. U.S. railroads originated 288,495 carloads during the week, up 16.4 percent from the comparable week in 2009, with all 19 carload commodity groups showing increases from last year. Intermodal traffic totaled 203,549 trailers and containers, up 14.2 percent from last year.

Among the 19 carload commodity groups, particularly strong gains were reported in shipments of metals (108.6 percent); metallic ores (97.6 percent); primary forest products (54.4 percent); scrap (54 percent); motor vehicles (35.5 percent), and chemicals (26 percent).

Combined North American rail volume for the first 14 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 5,074,684 carloads, up 6.2 percent from last year, and 3,533,673 trailers and containers, up 9.3 percent from last year."


At 4/16/2010 10:00 AM, Anonymous morganovich said...

that's some awfully significant editing dr perry.

traffic is still way down from 2008.

the release to which you link reads like this:

However, volume was still down 12 percent compared with the same period in 2008. In order to offer a complete picture of the progress in rail traffic, AAR now reports 2010 weekly rail traffic with comparison weeks in both 2009 and 2008.

Intermodal traffic totaled 203,549 trailers and containers, up 14.2 percent from last year but down 10.5 percent compared with 2008. Compared with the same week in 2009, container volume increased 18.2 percent while trailer volume slipped 4.8 percent. Compared with the same week in 2008, container volume was down 2.7 percent while trailer volume slumped 38.8 percent.

Carload volume gained 16.9 percent from last year on Eastern railroads and 16.1 percent on Western carriers. Compared with 2008, however, carload volume was down 14.8 percent in the East and 10 percent in the West.

i know you like to give a rosy view, but editing out data like that makes you seem partisan instead of objective.

just my opinion, but i thing you would gain credibility by giving a more balanced view.

At 4/16/2010 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rail freight traffic is still below 2006-2008 levels.

At 4/16/2010 3:19 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

Comments that rail traffic is still down from peak years are interesting. Interesting but not indicative of business momentum. In 30 years, as a manager or owner, I have always compared figures to "last year". This particular last year (2009) was brutal, but the comparitives of this year and last are the most relevent to business continuity.

At 4/16/2010 3:33 PM, Anonymous morganovich said...


i actually think it goes the other way - comments that rail volume has recovered from the worst economic low and economic freeze up in a generation are interesting, but virtually anything would look better than that.

what matters is how it compares to normal volume.

if you had 100 customers and lost 50, getting back up to 60 is a sign things are still tough, not that they are good. sure, you can say, "wow, 20% growth!" but taken out of context, that doesn't mean much.

year on year figures alone do not tell the story.

At 4/16/2010 4:30 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

morganovich, from an investor's standpoint high historical's matter for S&P, Dow, Hang Seng or other bourse indices. For a business person what matters is volume for enterprise survival from month-to-month or year-to-year. Historical analysis is something you do for strategy. When you execute, what is important is just plain better business then last year or last month. The time frame is condensed.


At 4/16/2010 11:58 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Of course rail freight traffic would be below 2006-2008 levels because there was an out of control massive consumption binge underway at the time.Do you really expect that situation to be with us now after the recent meltdown. Do you really want to go back there.


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