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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail volume steady in Week 2


U.S. rail traffic ticked up 0.5 percent to 511,937 carloads and intermodal units in the second week of 2018 compared with the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

For the week ending Jan. 13, total carloads declined 4.1 percent to 241,351 units compared with the same week in 2017, while total U.S. intermodal containers and trailers increased 5 percent to 270,586 units, according to an AAR press release.

Four of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR follows on a weekly basis posted an increase compared with the same week last year. They included nonmetallic minerals, up 3,668 carloads to 30,530; chemicals, up 2,028 carloads to 31,879; and forest products, up 244 carloads to 9,748.

Commodity groups that logged decreases compared with the same week in 2017 included coal, down 8,992 carloads to 76,001; grain, down 2,444 carloads to 21,957; and metallic ores and metals, down 1,443 carloads to 20,518.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads moved 75,043 carloads for the week, down 0.8 percent, and 63,495 intermodal units, up 5.6 percent compared with the same week in 2017. Mexican railroads reported 20,838 carloads for the week, up 2.4 percent compared with the same week last year, and 18,786 intermodal units, up 6.6 percent.

North American rail volume for the week on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 337,232 carloads, down 3 percent compared with the same week last year, and 352,867 intermodal units, up 5.2 percent compared with last year.

For the first two weeks of 2018 compared with a year ago:
• U.S. railroads moved a combined 927,799 carloads and intermodal units, down 1.8 percent;
• Canadian railroads posted cumulative rail volume of 257,878 carloads, containers and trailers, up 0.4 percent; and
• Mexican railroads reported cumulative rail volume of 68,284 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 0.4 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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