By Colin Kellaher
North American rail traffic rose 4.4% last week, the biggest weekly gain since early September, as strong intermodal volumes in the U.S. and Canada more than offset continued weakness in Mexico, data from the Association of American Railroads showed.
Carload volume fell 3.5% for the week ended Nov. 14 on a dozen reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads, while intermodal traffic rose 12.2%, the trade group said Wednesday.
In the week ended Nov. 7, North American rail traffic rose 0.8%. For the first 46 weeks of the year, North American traffic is now down 8.2%, compared with a year-to-date decline of 8.5% reported a week earlier.
The AAR said U.S. rail traffic rose 5.2% last week amid a 12.9% gain in the volume of intermodal containers and trailers. Carloads fell 3.1%.
U.S. rail traffic is now down 8.8% for the year to date, the AAR said, compared with a decline of 9.1% reported a week ago.
Canadian rail traffic rose 6.1% last week, with intermodal volume surging 18.9% and carloads felling 3.9%. Canadian rail traffic is down 5.7% for the first 46 weeks of the year.
Mexican rail traffic fell sharply again last week as blockades by protesters continued to disrupt the industry. Traffic slid 13.8% amid a 21.4% drop in intermodal units and a 7% decline in carloads.
Protesters have blocked rail lines from Mexico's Port of Lazaro Cardenas for more than 45 days. Kansas City Southern on Tuesday said its fourth-quarter volume through Nov. 15 is down 3% but would be up 2% excluding the impact of the protests.
Mexican rail traffic is down 10.3% for the year so far, the AAR said.
Write to Colin Kellaher at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires