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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: U.S. carload, intermodal traffic drops 14 percent in week 11

Total U.S. weekly rail traffic continued its slide for the week ending March 19, with carloads falling 17.2 percent to 235,390, and intermodal volume declining 10.7 percent to 248,073 containers and trailers compared with traffic during the same week in 2015, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Total traffic — carloads and intermodal units combined — fell 14 percent for the week compared with traffic a year ago.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases: Miscellaneous carloads were up 20.4 percent; chemicals, up 4.9 percent; and motor vehicles and parts, up 2.7 percent.

Commodity groups that logged decreases included coal, down 38.7 percent; petroleum and petroleum products, down 26.8 percent; and grain, down 10.6 percent.

Canadian railroads' carload traffic for the week fell 7.3 percent, while intermodal traffic declined 7.4 percent compared with traffic in the same week a year ago.

Mexican railroads reported increases in carload and intermodal traffic during the week: Carloads were up 5.9 percent and intermodal units were up 1.3 percent.

For the first 11 weeks of 2016, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of
2,672,765 carloads, down 13.3 percent from the same point last year; and 2,847,908 intermodal units, up 3.9 percent from last year. Year over year, total combined U.S. traffic fell 5.2 percent.

Also during the first 11 weeks of 2016, Canadian railroads' cumulative traffic volume fell 4.3 percent to 1,418,183 carloads. Mexican railroads' cumulative traffic volume of 296,433 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers reflected a 1.1 percent increase compared with a year ago.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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