US chemical sector rail traffic rises 10.2 pc

US chemical sector rail traffic rises 10.2 pc

11:19 PM, 2nd January 2012
US chemical sector rail traffic rises 10.2 pc


WASHINGTON DC, US: The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported gains in weekly rail traffic, with US railroads originating 287,137 carloads for the week ending Dec 24, 2011, up 11.9 per cent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totalled 217,952 trailers and containers, up 22.9 per cent compared with the same week last year. 

Sixteen of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2010, including: crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 59.7 per cent; nonmetallic minerals, up 39.6 per cent, and petroleum products, up 36.4 per cent. The groups showing a decrease in weekly traffic included: coke, down 2.6 per cent, and grain, down 2.4 per cent. In all, AAR tracks 19 carload commodity categories. 

Chemical shipments on US railroads rose 14.8 per cent last week from the same time last year, marking their eighth increase this year, said AAR. Chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 12 December were 25,752, up 3,312 car loads from 22,440 in the same week last year, as per the data. The increase for the week comes after a 13.9 per cent year-over-year (y-o-y) increase in the previous week ended on 5 December.

The railcar loadings represent about 20 per cent of chemical volumes by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. The increase in chemical shipments compares with a 10.2 per cent y-o-y decline in overall weekly railcar shipments for the 19 commodity categories tracked by the AAR. Chemicals were one of seven commodity categories with a y-o-y increase last week.

The US chemical railcar loadings were down 10.8 per cent to 1,291,681, from 1,448,082 in the year-earlier period. Canadian chemical rail traffic for the week ended on 12 December fell 2.4 per cent to 12,923 from 13,243 in the same week last year. Also, Canadian shipments were down 19.2 per cent to 583,592 from 722,213 shipments in the same period in 2008.

Mexican weekly chemical rail traffic rose 24.7 per cent to 1,116 from 895 in the same week a year earlier. Mexican shipments were up 23.3 per cent to 54,366 from 44,089 in the same period last year. For all of North America, chemical railcar shipments rose 8.8 per cent for the week ended on 12 December to 39,791 from 36,578 in the same week in 2008. For the period, North American chemical railcar traffic was down 12.9 per cent to 1,929,639 from 2,214,384 in the year-earlier period.

(C) WOC News




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