US weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 14.6% year over year

14 January 2010 18:59  [Source: ICIS news]

Railroad traffic risesTORONTO (ICIS news)--Chemical shipments on US railroads rose 14.6% last week from the same time last year, marking their ninth increase in a row, an industry association said on Thursday.

Chemical railcar loadings for the week ended on 9 January were 27,909, up 3,563 car loads from 24,346 in the same week last year, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

The increase for the week comes after an 19.5% year-over-year increase in the previous week ended on 2 January.

The weekly chemical railcar loadings data are seen as an important measure of chemical industry activity and demand. Railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical volumes by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest.

The increase in chemical shipments compares with a 12.4% year-over-year decline in overall weekly railcar shipments for the 19 commodity categories tracked by the AAR.

The overall decline was driven by an 27.3% decrease in coal, by far the largest shipment category, while 11 of the 19 categories reported year-over-year increases last week. 

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