US chem railcar traffic rises 9.6% in 2010 but still below 2008

11 January 2011 18:45  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--US chemical railcar shipments rose by 9.6%, or 131,127 carloads, in 2010 from 2009, but have not yet regained their 2008 level, a rail industry trade group said on Tuesday.

With 1,497,095 carloads, chemical railcar shipments accounted for 10.1% of the 19 high-volume commodity categories tracked by the Association of American Railroads (AAR), the group said.

However, despite the increase, chemical railcar shipments were still down from their 2008 level when the AAR reported 1,558,375 shipments.

Likewise, overall carloads for the 19 commodities rose 7.3% to 14.8m carloads in 2010 - the largest year-over-year increase since the AAR data series began in 1988.

Nevertheless, 2010 marked the second lowest total in annual carloads on record, behind 2009, the group said.

“Like the economy in general, rail traffic in 2010 recovered some lost ground, but not nearly all of it,” said AAR senior vice president John Gray.

“That being said, monthly rail traffic increases were broad based, supporting the idea that economic recovery likewise is broad based.”

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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