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Rail News: Intermodal

U.S. railroads register another weak traffic week, AAR data shows


After a promising start, May isn't shaping up to be a good month traffic-wise for U.S. railroads. During the week ending May 24, their carloads declined 1.7 percent to 330,208 units and intermodal loads declined 0.9 percent to 233,549 units compared with totals from the same 2007 period — the second-straight week their volume dropped in both segments, according to Association of American Railroads data.

During the year's first 21 weeks, U.S. railroads originated 6.8 million carloads, up 1.1 percent, and 4.6 million containers and trailers, down 3.2 percent year over year. Total volume reached an estimated 707.4 billion ton-miles, representing a 2.3 percent increase over last year's total.

Canadian railroads fared better during the week ending May 24. Although their carloads decreased slightly (by 0.9 percent) to 76,834 units, their intermodal volume rose 7.6 percent to 45,768 trailers units vs. totals from the same 2007 period. Through 21 weeks, Canadian railroads carloads totaled 1.6 million units, down 3.7 percent, and intermodal volume totaled 984,349 containers and trailers, up 4.5 percent year over year.

On a combined cumulative-volume basis through 21 weeks, reporting U.S. and Canadian railroads originated 8.4 million carloads, up 0.1 percent, and 5.6 million containers and trailers, down 1.9 percent compared with totals from the same 2007 period.