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Intermodal volume up, but carloads down for U.S. railroads last week

U.S. railroads originated fewer carloads but more intermodal loads for last week compared with the same period a year ago, according to data released yesterday by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

During the week ending April 21, railroads originated 282,262 carloads, down 3.6 percent, and 239,276 trailers and containers, up 6 percent. Fourteen of the 20 carload commodity groups showed increases compared with the same week in 2011. Petroleum products, motor vehicles and equipment and primary forest products showed the largest volume gains, at 48.3 percent, 32.9 percent and 22.8 percent, respectively. However, farm products volume (excluding grain) dropped 19 percent, grain loads declined 18 percent and coal loads fell 16 percent.

For 2012’s first 16 weeks, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 4,509,115 carloads, down 3.2 percent, and 3,633,031 trailers and containers, up 2.6 percent compared with the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads originated 82,300 carloads for the week, up 9.1 percent, and 54,500 trailers and containers, up 18.4 percent. During the year’s first 16 weeks, Canadian roads reported cumulative volume of 1,224,622 carloads, up 5.1 percent, and 790,726 trailers and containers, up 7.7 percent compared with the same year-ago period.
Mexican railroads reported 14,892 carloads for the week, up 27.3 percent compared with the same week last year, and 9,430 trailers and containers, up 43.2 percent. Cumulative volume during the first 16 weeks of 2012 stood at 215,631 carloads, down 5.3 percent compared with the same 2011 period, and 140,784 trailers and containers, up 22.7 percent.
Through 2012’s first 16 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads originated 5,949,368 carloads, down 1.7 percent, and 4,564,541 trailers and containers, up 4 percent compared with the first 16 weeks of 2011.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/27/2012