The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that as a consequence of a warm winter, lower demand for energy products and low oil and gas prices, the nation’s rails are experiencing sharp declines in shipments.
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American truckers have developed a slow leak.
U.S. shipments as measured by the latest Cass Freight Index dropped 5.3 percent last month from a year ago, making it the worst October since 2011. The year-over-year decline was the eighth straight and the biggest since November 2009. Trucks transport almost 70 percent of the nation’s freight by weight, according to American Trucking Associations.
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Rail freight loadings continue to show improvement, reports the AAR in releasing carloading data for the week ending Oct. 16.
Total U.S. carloadings increased by more than 10 percent over the same week in 2009.
Intermodal loadings were up by more than 15 percent over the comparable week in 2009.
Fourteen of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009.
For the first 41 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads carloadings are up more than 7 percent over the first 41 weeks in 2009; and intermodal loadings are up almost 15 percent.