US chemical railcar traffic falls for second week in a row

22 March 2012 16:59  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US chemical railcar traffic fell by 2.8% year on year for the week ended 17 March, marking its second decline in a row and the sixth decline so far this year, according to data released on Thursday by a rail industry group.

There were 29,747 chemical railcar loadings last week, compared with 30,610 in the corresponding week of 2011, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said.

In the previous week, ended 10 March, US weekly chemical railcar loadings fell by 1.7% year on year.

The weekly logistics 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.

From 1 January to 17 March, US chemical railcar loadings were down by 0.7%, to 331,866, compared with the corresponding period of last year.

Meanwhile, overall US weekly railcar loadings for the 19 high-volume freight commodity groups tracked by the AAR fell by 5.3% year on year to 278,420 carloads.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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