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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR weekly report: U.S. roads generated more traffic gains


U.S. railroads’ traffic-generating momentum has carried into March. During the week ending March 5, they originated 300,953 carloads, up 5.5 percent, and 214,343 containers and trailers, up 1 percent compared with volumes from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Fourteen of 20 carload commodity groups registered gains. However, agricultural product volume declined 8 percent primarily because of tougher year-over-year comparisons in grain mill products, such as flour and animal feed, according to Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.’s weekly “Rail Flash” report.

“The first quarter of 2010 had unusually strong grain mill product volumes relative to historical trends given demand acceleration during the initial volume recovery,” Baird analysts said in the report.
Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported weekly carload volume of 70,551 units, down 5.9 percent, and intermodal volume of 43,401 units, down 3.3 percent year over year. Mexican railroads’ weekly carloads increased 6 percent to 14,225 units and intermodal volume decreased 4.2 percent to 6,921 units.
Through 2011’s first nine weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads originated 3.3 million carloads, up 4.5 percent, and 2.4 million containers and trailers, up 7.3 percent compared with volumes through the same 2010 period.

For more AAR traffic data for the week ending March 5 and through nine weeks, follow this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/11/2011