US weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 7.8% year on year

22 December 2010 22:01  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemical shipments on US railroads rose 7.8% last week compared with the same period in 2009 despite blizzards throughout the midwest, marking their 49th increase so far this year, a rail industry group said on Wednesday.

There were 28,468 chemical railcar loadings in the week ended 18 December, up by 2,058 carloads from 26,410 in the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

The previous week ended 11 December saw a year-on-year rise of 10.3%.

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

In addition, there was a 5.0% year-on-year increase in overall weekly railcar shipments for the 19 high-volume freight commodity groups tracked by the association. The AAR said blizzards in the US midwest moderated the gains.

Year to date to 18 December, chemical railcar shipments were 1,442,307, up 9.4% from in the same period in 2009.

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By: Brian Ford
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