Rail traffic is bumpy as usual at this time of year, so it's not easy to take away much from this week’s swing, but we saw a big reversal from last week’s dip as intermodal traffic jumped 10.4% versus last year. The 12-week moving average is up to 1.92% which is still consistent with a weak economy.
AAR has more info:
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported mixed weekly rail traffic for the week ending January 12, 2013, with U.S. railroads originating 279,893 carloads, down 6.4 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 252,896 trailers and containers, up 10.4 percent compared with the same week last year.
Thirteen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, with petroleum products, up 47.7 percent; crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 17.5 percent, and lumber and wood products, up 15.5 percent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included iron and steel scrap, down 22.1 percent; metallic ores, down 18.6 percent, and coal, down 16 percent.
Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 3.6 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was down 8.1 percent compared with the same week in 2012.
For the first two weeks of 2013, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 521,575 carloads, down 9.1 percent from the same point last year, and 431,213 trailers and containers, up 1.9 percent from last year.