NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shippers of commodities and commercial goods were among the winners in the transportation sector Monday as prices for commodities themselves strengthened on a weaker U.S. dollar.Shares of railroad companies, responsible for hauling the nation's coal, gained ground Monday. Late in the session, CSX ( CSX) was gaining 1.2% to $51.61; Norfolk Southern ( NSC) was advancing nearly 2% to $55.86; and Union Pacific ( UNP) was up 1.4% to $73.68. Overall, the Dow Jones Transportation Average was rising 0.8% to $35.38 Monday afternoon, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up about 0.4%, about 100 points shy of the 11,000 level. Meanwhile, the U.S. Transportation Department released its 2009 air travel figures, which showed 5.3% fewer people flew to and fro on airliners last year than in 2008. The numbers appeared to ratify the obvious: the recession caused a drop in travel. Beating out all other domestic carriers for the third year in a row was Southwest Airlines ( LUV). Shares of the Dallas-based company were trading recently at $13.16, up 0.8%. Shares of AMR ( AMR), parent of American Airlines, which handled the most international traffic of any U.S.-based carrier, were at $9.12, down 0.7%. Delta ( DAL) was gaining 0.7% to $14.60, and JetBlue Airways was slipping by 0.4% to $5.50. Business freight giants FedEx ( FDX) and UPS ( UPS) saw their stocks rise as well, the former gaining 0.8% to $92.10 and the latter advancing 0.7% to $64.13. -- Written by Scott Eden in New York Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.