AAR: Rail Traffic "mixed" in February

From the Association of American Railroads (AAR): AAR Reports Mixed Rail Traffic for February, Gains for Week Ending March 2

Intermodal traffic in February 2013 totaled 983,078 containers and trailers, up 10.5 percent (93,231 units) compared with February 2012. That percentage increase represents the biggest year-over-year monthly gain since December 2010. The weekly average of 245,770 intermodal units in February was the highest weekly average for any February in history.

Carloads originated in February totaled 1,113,843 carloads, down 1.1 percent (12,562 carloads) compared with the same month last year. However, carloads excluding coal and grain were up 4.5 percent (25,311 carloads) in February 2013 over February 2012.

“Rail intermodal traffic continues to grow. In February, year-over-year intermodal volume on U.S. railroads rose for the 39th straight week, and February saw the first double-digit year-over-year increase in two years,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “Shippers find intermodal appealing for a lot of reasons, including fuel savings, higher trucking costs, and service that has become much better in recent years.”
emphasis added

Rail Traffic Click on graph for larger image.

This graph from the Rail Time Indicators report shows U.S. average weekly rail carloads (NSA).  Green is 2013.

Commodities with carload gains on U.S. railroads in February 2013 over February 2012 included many of the usual suspects, led by petroleum and petroleum products (up 21,326 carloads, or 64.2% …); crushed stone, gravel, and sand (up 10,759 carloads, or 17.2%…); motor vehicles and parts (up 1,722 carloads, or 2.6% …); and lumber and wood products (up 1,310 carloads, or 10.4% …). …

Excluding coal and grain, U.S. rail carloads were up 4.5% (25,311 carloads) in February 2013 over February 2012

Note that building related commodities were up.

The second graph is for intermodal traffic (using intermodal or shipping containers):

Rail TrafficGraphs and excerpts reprinted with permission.

Intermodal traffic is almost off the chart …

Excluding coal and grain, U.S. rail carloads were up 4.5% (25,311 carloads) in February 2013 over February 2012

Intermodal will probably set a new record in 2013.

Earlier on the employment report:
February Employment Report: 236,000 Jobs, 7.7% Unemployment Rate
Employment Report Comments and more Graphs
All Employment Graphs

Posted in Executive Prospectus, Financial Prospectus

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