US weekly chemical railcar traffic falls 2.4% year on year

05 January 2012 21:02  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US chemical railcar traffic fell by 2.4% year on year for the week ended 31 December, marking its ninth decline in 2011, according to data released by a rail industry group on Thursday.

There were 28,681 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 29,375 in the same week in 2010, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

In the previous week ended 24 December, US weekly chemical railcar shipments rose 14.0% year on year, rebounding after four consecutive declines.

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 transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar traffic for the 19 high-volume freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR rose by 1.9% year on year to 245,666 carloads.

For the full 12 months of 2011 ended 31 December, US chemical railcar loadings were up by 3.4% year on year to 1,548,075 carloads.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in his Chemicals and the Economy Blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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