North American pulp and paper rail freight down 3.7% for week of Dec. 8, 2012

By James McLaren Fri, Dec 14, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 14, 2012 (RISI) -North American pulp and paper rail freight in the week ending Dec. 8 was down 3.7% from a year ago at 8,602 carloads, the Assn of American Railroads reported. Volume through 49 weeks of 2012 at 457,721 carloads was 2% lower than in 2011.

Weekly US pulp and paper freight was down 3.9%, Canada was 3.5% lower and Mexico rose 12.1% from a year ago.

North American lumber and wood products rail freight in the week was 9.8% higher and year-to-date was up 10.2% from 2011.

Primary forest products freight was 1.1% higher in the week and up 2.3% year-to-date.

Genesee & Wyoming railroads reported its November pulp and paper rail freight was up 11% from a year ago to 8,458 carloads. Lumber and forest products carloads of 6,257 were up 27.1% from a year ago. Total G&W carloads in the month were down 6.7% led by declines in coal and farm products.

The company cited higher lumber & forest products traffic primarily due to increased shipments in its Oregon region.

RailAmerica showed its November pulp and paper freight was 10.2% higher to 5,228 carloads and forest products were 16.2% higher to 4,688 carloads. Total freight rose 1.9%.

G&W acquired RailAmerica effective Oct. 1 and placed control of RailAmerica into a voting trust that will remain in effect until the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) issues its decision on GWI's application to control RailAmerica and its railroads. A decision will be issued no later than Jan. 4, 2013, which by statute would be effective no later than Feb. 3, 2013, G&W said.

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