The Association for American Railroads released their weekly data-packed report on the rail freight industry and their numbers say, business is bouncing back big time.
It was the biggest June on record, and third biggest month ever for what they call intermodal rail traffic: the number of shipping containers or truckloads that move by rail, but start or end on a truck or ship. (It doesn't count "carloads" of raw materials like coal). For you business junkies out there, intermodal rail traffic is more interesting because it reveals economic trends: companies only ship things they are buying or selling, so it is a leading economic indicator often predicting economic growth in the months to come. Those containers are filled with materials and goods businesses will start selling soon.
A bit more from AAR:
"Through June, year-to-date 2012 U.S. intermodal originations were slightly ahead of 2006, setting up the very real possibility that 2012 will be the highest-volume intermodal year ever for U.S. railroads. The recovery since 2009 has been remarkable. In the first six months of 2009, average weekly intermodal loadings were 185,075 containers and trailers. In the first six months of 2012, the average was up to 232,682 containers and trailers, a 25.7% increase. "
Via Business Insider