The latest rail traffic trends showed continued strength as intermodal traffic recorded its second highest ever weekly reading. Intermodal traffic was up 6.4% year over year and the 12 week moving average jumped near its highest level in 2013 at 7%.
Here's more via AAR:
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported mixed U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Dec. 14, 2013 with 278,664 total U.S. carloads, down 4.9 percent compared with the same week last year. Total U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 268,161 units - the second highest week on record - up 6.4 percent compared with the same week last year. Total combined U.S. weekly rail traffic was 546,825 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.3 percent compared with the same week last year.
Four of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, including petroleum and petroleum products with 13,888 carloads, up 10.4 percent; and motor vehicles and parts with 18,202 carloads, up 5.5 percent. Commodities showing a decrease compared with the same week last year included metallic ores and metals with 23,147 carloads, down 14.0 percent; and coal with 111,155 carloads, down 8.4 percent.
For the first 50 weeks of 2013, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 14,087,377 carloads, down 0.7 percent from the same point last year, and 12,403,840 intermodal units, up 4.5 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 50 weeks of 2013 was 26,491,217 carloads and intermodal units, up 1.7 percent from last year.