Rail Traffic Continues to Grow

Nov. 5.10 | About: iShares Transportation (IYT)

The recovery in rail traffic continues at a solid clip. According to the AAR total carloads grew 6.3% over 2009 while intermodal traffic jumped 14.2%. The breadth of the expansion remains healthy with 13 of the 19 commodity groups showing growth:

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported that weekly rail traffic continues to gain over 2009 levels with U.S. railroads originating 292,884 carloads for the week ending Oct. 30, 2010, up 6.3 percent compared with the same week last year. AAR will no longer report 2010 weekly rail traffic with 2008 weekly comparison data since October 2008 marked the beginning of the recession-related downturn in rail traffic.Intermodal traffic for the week totaled 232,717 trailers and containers, up 14.2 percent compared with the same week a year ago, with container volume up 15.7 percent and trailer volume up 6.5 percent.

Thirteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009, with significant gains in metallic ores, up 128.2 percent, and crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 27.5 percent. Commodity groups posting declines included primary forest products, down 13.4 percent, non-metallic minerals, down 9.3 percent, and grain mill products, down 7 percent.

Carload volume on Eastern railroads was down .3 percent compared with last year. In the West, carload volume was up 11.1 percent from the same week in 2009.

For the first 43 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 12,324,661 carloads, up 7.3 percent from last year, and 9,364,481 trailers or containers, up 14.6 percent from the comparison week in 2009.

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Source: AAR