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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. railroads post carload, intermodal unit traffic gains

U.S. railroads carried 529,252 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending May 11, a 2.1 percent increase compared with the same 2012 week, according to Association of American Railroads data. Intermodal volume jumped 3.9 percent to 248,266 units, while carloads inched up 0.6 percent to 280,986. 

Five of 10 carload commodity groups posted traffic gains, led by petroleum and petroleum products, which skyrocketed 50.8 percent. However, grain carloads dropped 21.3 percent and farm and food products (excluding grain), 10 percent.

For the first 19 weeks of 2013, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 5,244,498 carloads, down 1.9 percent compared with the same 2012 period, and 4,540,879 intermodal units, up 4.3 percent. Total traffic reached 9,785,377 units, up 0.9 percent.

Canadian railroads reported 78,348 carloads and 53,393 intermodal units for the week, a 1.2 percent decline and 1.8 percent increase, respectively. Year to date, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,495,395 carloads, up 2 percent compared with the year-ago period, and 984,635 intermodal units, up 3.6 percent.

Meanwhile, Mexican railroads carried 15,251 carloads during the week, up 5.3 percent compared with the same week last year, and 9,490 intermodal units, down 1.7 percent. Cumulative carload volume jumped 8.4 percent to 282,513 and cumulative intermodal volume rose 0.2 percent to 172,424 units. 

Combined North American rail volume for 2013's first 19 weeks on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 7,022,406 carloads, down 0.7 percent, and 5,697,938 trailers and containers, up 4 percent year over year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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