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U.S. freight railroad traffic continued its ongoing slump last week, with U.S. railroads reporting a total 562,884 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Aug. 8, down 0.9 percent compared with the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).U.S. railroads logged 288,460 carloads for the week, down 4.4 percent compared with a year ago. However, the upswing in intermodal business — an ongoing trend this year — also continued last week, with U.S. railroads reporting a total of 274,424 containers and trailers, a 3.1 percent increase compared with 2014’s numbers.Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases for the week: miscellaneous carloads, up 14.2 percent to 9,117 carloads; farm products, up 8.4 percent to 16,854 carloads; and grain, up 1.5 percent to 21,587 carloads.Commodity groups that posted decreases were: petroleum and petroleum products, down 17.7 percent to 13,826 carloads; metallic ores and metals, down 10 percent to 23,387 carloads; and coal, down 7.1 percent to 105,965 carloads.Canadian railroads logged 72,599 carloads for the week, down 11.7 percent. But intermodal traffic rose 3.7 percent to 60,616 units.Mexican railroads reported growth in both categories: 16,849 carloads for the week, up 5.4 percent, and 11,865 intermodal units, up 4.9 percent.For the first 31 weeks of 2015: total combined U.S. traffic was 16,806,780 carloads and intermodal units, down 1 percent compared with this point last year; Canadian cumulative traffic was 4,281,333 carloads, containers and trailers, up 1.4 percent; and Mexican cumulative traffic was 837,493 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 2.3 percent.
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