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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR weekly report: Carloads up in Canada, down in U.S. and Mexico


After registering gains in June’s first full two weeks, U.S. carloads tumbled a bit in the third full week. For the week ending June 25, carloads totaled 284,562, down 0.2 percent compared with volume from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). However, intermodal volume totaling 234,775 units increased 3.3 percent.

Only 12 of 20 carload commodity groups posted gains. Weekly carload volume was down 3.2 percent in the East and up 1.9 percent in the West. Coal carloads were down 4 percent year over year primarily because Powder River Basin coal volumes were impacted by recent floods, according to Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.’s weekly “Rail Flash” report.

“BNSF coal volume was down 20 percent sequentially from [the previous] week,” they said. “[However] export coal remains a growth opportunity for rails presently and into the future, with Eastern U.S. rails primarily benefiting from increased global demand.”
Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported weekly carloads totaling 72,194 units, up 1.9 percent, and intermodal volume totaling 48,410 containers and trailers, up 2.8 percent year over year. Mexican railroads’ weekly carloads fell 1.5 percent to 15,285 units, but their intermodal volume shot up 41.6 percent to 10,297 units.

Through 2011’s first 25 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads originated 9.4 million carloads, up 2.7 percent, and 7 million containers and trailers, up 7.2 percent compared with volumes from the same 2010 period.

For more AAR traffic data for the week ending June 25 and through 25 weeks, follow this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/1/2011