Intermodal rail traffic in the U.S. hit its third highest level in history for the week ending Oct. 25, according to new figures from the Association of American Railroads.
Weekly volume totaled 278,767 units, up 6.7% compared with the same week last year. This was more growth than total carloads, which were 307,348, up 3.5% over the same time period.
Total combined U.S. weekly rail traffic was 586,115 carloads and intermodal units, up 5% from a year ago.
For the first 43 weeks of 2014, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 12.53 million carloads, up 3.6% compared with the same point last year, and 11.18 million intermodal units, up 5.5% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 43 weeks of 2014 was 23.7 million carloads and intermodal units, up 4.5% from last year.
Canadian railroads saw an even larger growth in intermodal vs. carload. Year to date, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 2.46 million intermodal units, up 6.6% from last year, compared to 3.46 million carloads, up 1.8% from the same point last year.
Mexican intermodal tarffic was up 5% year to date compared to 3.3% for carloads.