By Colin Kellaher
North American rail traffic rose 1% last week as a rise in intermodal volume more than offset continuing declines in carloads, data from the Association of American Railroads showed.
Carload volume fell 3.8% for the week ended Oct. 3 on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads, while intermodal traffic rose 5.7%, the trade group said Wednesday.
In the week ended Sept. 26, North American rail traffic fell 2.3%. For the first 40 weeks of the year, North American traffic is now down 9.8%, compared with a year-to-date decline of 10% reported a week earlier.
The AAR said U.S. rail traffic edged up 0.8% last week as a 6.9% rise in the volume of intermodal containers and trailers overcame a 5.9% drop in carloads.
The trade group said September marked the fourth-best intermodal month in history for U.S. railroads, with a gain of 7.1%, as retailers and others restocked their inventories and prepared for the upcoming holiday season.
U.S. rail traffic is now down 10.4% for the year to date, the AAR said, compared with a decline of 10.7% reported a week ago.
Canadian rail traffic jumped 6.1% last week, with carloads up 5.6% and intermodal units gaining 6.6%.
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. on Friday said it posted its best-ever third quarter for Canadian grain and grain products shipments, moving 7.72 million metric tons.
Canadian rail traffic is down 7.3% for the first 40 weeks of the year.
On the downside last week, Mexican rail traffic tumbled 13.9% as carloads slid 14.3% and intermodal units fell 13.9%. Mexican rail traffic is down 10.7% for the year so far, the AAR said.
Write to Colin Kellaher at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires