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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Intermodal growth remains the rail traffic story in Week 27


U.S. total carload volumes outpaced intermodal volumes for the week ending July 11, but intermodal continued to reflect strong growth, according to data released yesterday by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

For the week, total U.S. rail traffic total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 534,097 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.4 percent compared with the same week last year. U.S. railroads logged 271,494 carloads, down 6.6 percent compared with the same week in 2014. But, U.S. weekly intermodal volume increased 2.4 percent to 262,603 containers and trailers compared with a year ago.

Three of 10 commodity groups posted increases for the week: Grain was up 8.1 percent to 18,500 carloads; farm products, up 2.7 percent to 16,967 carloads; and miscellaneous carloads, up 0.5 percent to 8,235 carloads. Commodities that decreased during the week included petroleum and petroleum products, down 15.9 percent to 12,882 carloads; coal, down 10.5 percent to 95,318 carloads; and nonmetallic minerals, down 8.3 percent to 36,760 carloads.

Canadian railroads’ carload volume plummeted 9.1 percent, while intermodal business jumped 5.4 percent to 62,815 units for the week compared with the year-ago period. Mexican railroads’ carloads rose 4.4 percent to 16,297 for the week, but intermodal volume slipped a tad to 10,285 units, down 0.7 percent.

For the first 27 weeks of 2015, U.S. railroads posted total combined traffic of 14,575,978 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 0.9 percent compared with last year; Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,730,872 carloads, containers and trailers, up 2.1 percent; and Mexican railroads logged 724,349 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 2.5 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/16/2015