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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: U.S. roads registered mixed traffic results last week


U.S. railroads logged so-so traffic results in this month’s second full week, which ended Sept. 17. They originated 299,914 carloads, down 1.4 percent, and 242,250 containers and trailers, up 0.9 percent compared with volumes from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Only 11 of 20 carload commodity groups posted gains, led by petroleum products (19.2 percent), lumber and wood products (14.8 percent), and metals and products (12.8 percent). Coal volume declined 2 percent, a tad better than the third-quarter average to date of 3 percent down, according to Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.’s weekly “Rail Flash” report.

“Revised [Energy Information Administration] estimates reflect stronger-than-expected summer electricity generation contributing to utility coal stockpile declines and supporting improving coal fundamentals,” Baird analysts said in the report. “Longer-term export coal outlook remains solid given secular global demand trends, but recent export commentary from coal producers clouds the near-term demand trend.”
Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported weekly carloads totaling 78,315 units, up 3.2 percent, and intermodal volume totaling 52,063 units, down 1 percent year over year. For the week ending Sept. 17, Mexican railroads’ carloads inched up 0.2 percent to 12,193 units and intermodal volume jumped 18.8 percent to 8,271 units.
Through 2011’s first 37 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads originated 14 million carloads, up 2 percent, and 10.4 million containers and trailers, up 5.3 percent compared with volumes from the same 2010 period.

For more AAR traffic data for the week ending Sept. 17 and through 37 weeks, follow this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/23/2011