CHICAGO North American rail shipments of metals and metallic ores totaled 49,971 carloads during the week ended Sept. 28, up 1.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the latest data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
But 1,770,583 carloads of metallics shipments through the first nine months of 2013 were down 1.8 percent from the same period last year.
Rail shipments of motor vehicles and parts continued to grow, with shipments of 29,364 carloads in the last week of September up 10.7 percent from a year ago, while year-to-date shipments of 977,301 carloads were 2.3 percent higher.
Weekly rail shipments of coal inched up 0.3 percent to 124,639 carloads, but shipments in the first nine months of the year were down 3.4 percent to 4,724,502 carloads.
"The fact that rail carloads excluding coal and grain were up 4.9 percent in Septemberthe biggest year-over-year monthly gain since last Decemberis a hopeful sign," senior vice president John T. Gray said.