Rail Traffic Remains Robust

| About: iShares Transportation (IYT)

Another week, another solid set of rail data. Volumes continue to post levels that are consistent with economic recovery (via the AAR):

“The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported steady weekly rail traffic gains with U.S. railroads originating 295,426 carloads for the week ending April 16, 2011, down slightly at 0.3 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week was up 9.8 percent compared with the same week last year, totaling 230,460 trailers and containers.Eleven of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases from the comparable week in 2010. Those groups posting significant increases included: farm products excluding grain, up 18.6 percent; metallic ores, up 17.3 percent, and motor vehicles and equipment, up 12.5 percent. The commodity groups reporting a notable drop in weekly traffic were primary forest products, down 25 percent; nonmetallic minerals, down 22.4 percent, and waste and nonferrous scrap, down 17 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 3.1 percent compared with the same week last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 1.6 percent compared with the same week in 2010.

For the first 15 weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 4,363,173 carloads, up 4.5 percent from last year, and 3,315,400 trailers and containers, up 9 percent from the same point in 2010.”

(Click chart to expand)