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U.S. intermodal volume up, carload traffic down in Week No. 20

Total U.S. rail traffic declined 2.7 percent in the week ending May 23, but intermodal traffic once again surpassed carload traffic, according to data from the Association of American Railroads.

U.S. railroads' total carloads for the week were 273,387, down 9.1 percent compared with the same week in 2014, while intermodal volume was 281,090 containers and trailers, up 4.3 percent. Intermodal traffic has surpassed carloads on a number of occasions so far this year, establishing a new U.S. rail industry trend.

Commodities posting increases during Week No. 20 were miscellaneous products, up 10.4 percent to 8,495 carloads; motor vehicles and parts, up 3.3 percent to 18,674 carloads; and petroleum and petroleum products, up 1.5 percent to 14,783 carloads.

Canadian railroads reported 77,033 carloads for the week, down 10.5 percent, and 61,100 intermodal units, up 4.1 percent compared with the year-ago period. Mexican railroads' carload traffic increased 2.9 percent to 16,571, but intermodal volume decreased 2.8 percent to 11,190 units compared with a year ago.

For the first 20 weeks of the  year, total combined U.S. traffic fell 0.4 percent to 10,826,748 carloads and intermodal units compared with the same period in 2014. Canadian railroads' cumulative traffic volume was 2,765,222 carloads, containers and trailers, up 4.4 percent; Mexican railroads' cumulative traffic volume was 530,331 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 2.7 percent from the same point last year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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