The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail carloads originated in February 2012 declined 1.9 per cent from a year go.However, February’s average of 224,492 intermodal units per week was the third highest ever for a February for U.S. railroads. Last month’s intermodal volume gained 2.4 per cent from a year ago.
Fourteen of the 20 commodity groups tracked by AAR showed gains in February 2012 compared with the same month last year. Petroleum and petrol products led the way with a 28.7 per cent gain.
“If you exclude carloads of coal and grain, which are down for reasons that have little to do with the state of the economy, rail traffic in February was encouraging,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. grey. “Intermodal traffic was up for the 27th straight month, while carloads of a wide range of commodities—lumber, chemicals, petroleum, paper, steel and more—saw increases in February. Time will tell, but we’re hopeful it’s a sign of broad-based improvement in economic conditions.”
For the week ending March 3, carloads fell 6.2 per cent year-over-year.