US chem railcar traffic ends year behind 2005

04 January 2007 22:57  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Chemical railcar traffic for 2006 reached 1,519,261 carloads, 1.1% lower than in 2005, according to data released on Thursday by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

For the final week of the year, there were 27,094 chemical carloads originated, 1.1% higher than the same week last year.

Analysts consider the weekly statistics to be a good indicator of current chemical industry activity, as railroads transport 22% of chemicals produced in the US.

Among all commodities that report to the AAR, traffic decreased by 5.2% last week to 268,354 carloads. Intermodal units, which include trailers and containers, were down by 3.2% to 172,991.

US freight railroads completed a record-breaking year by originating 1,267,054 carloads of freight in December 2006 and an additional 889,172 intermodal units, said the AAR.

Freight volume for the week ended 30 December was estimated at 27.6bn ton-miles.

In Canada, rail traffic for the year consisted of 3,844,456 units. Chemicals, along with grain, metallic ores, coal and motor vehicles and equipment were the highest volume commodities carried in carload service by Canadian railroads.

Total carload volume on the Kansas City Southern de Mexico was down 2.5% for the year to 592,025 units.

Washington-based AAR is a railroad policy, research and technology organisation specialising in the safety and productivity of rail carriers.

By: Joseph Lohan
+1 713 525 2653

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