Last week, the U.S. railroads set new record highs for 2010 in both rail carloads and intermodal volume, according to the Association of American Railroads.
Last week, carloads were up 5.8 percent from the same week in 2009, while trailers and containers were 17.1 percent higher than the 2009 week.
U.S. railroads originated 302,358 carloads for the week ending Aug. 28, up 5.8 percent from the same week in 2009, but down 11.3 percent from the same week in 2008. Intermodal traffic totaled 237,194 trailers and containers, 17.1 percent higher than the same week in 2009, but down 1.2 percent compared with 2008.
Compared with the same week in 2009, container volume, a subset of intermodal, increased 18.1 percent and trailer volume rose 11.4 percent. Compared with the same week in 2008, container volume increased 7 percent and trailer volume dropped 31.7 percent.
Fifteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the 2009 week, with significant increases in metallic ores, up 62.2 percent; metals and metal products, up 40.2 percent; and farm product excluding grain, up 33.4 percent. In comparison to 2008, only one carload commodity group, farm products excluding grain, posted an increase.
Year to date in 2010, U.S. railroads have a cumulative volume of 9.64 million carloads, up 7.1 percent from 2009, but down 12.9 percent from 2008, and 7.26 million trailers or containers, up 14.3 percent from 2009, but down 5.3 percent from 2008.
Combined North American rail volume for the first 34 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads was at about 12.6 million carloads, up 10 percent from last year, and about 9 million trailers and containers, a 14.9 percent gain from last year.