By Colin Kellaher
North American rail traffic rose 2.1% last week, wrapping up a month of gains that featured record intermodal volume in the U.S., data from the Association of American Railroads showed.
Carload volume fell 6.7% for the week ended Oct. 31 on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads, while intermodal traffic rose 10.8%, the trade group said Wednesday.
In the week ended Oct. 24, North American rail traffic rose 1.6%. For the first 44 weeks of the year, North American traffic is now down 8.7%, compared with a year-to-date decline of 9% reported a week earlier.
The AAR said U.S. rail traffic rose 2.1% last week, with a 10.8% rise in the volume of intermodal containers and trailers more than offsetting a 7.3% drop in carloads.
"Thanks largely to rising imports and inventory restocking in preparation for the holidays, October was the best month ever for U.S. rail intermodal, with volumes up by a third from April of this year," said John Gray, AAR senior vice president. "That's a stunning increase in six months."
U.S. rail traffic is now down 9.3% for the year to date, the AAR said, compared with a decline of 9.6% reported a week ago.
Canadian rail traffic rose 4.6% last week, as intermodal volume surged 20.4% but carloads fell 6.3%. Canadian rail traffic is down 6.2% for the first 44 weeks of the year.
On the downside, Mexican rail traffic slumped again last week, falling 11.9% amid a 22.5% drop in intermodal units and a 1.4% decline in carloads. Mexican rail traffic is down 10.9% for the year so far, the AAR said.
Write to Colin Kellaher at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires