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U.S. railroads moved 543,515 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Jan. 27, marking a 4 percent increase compared with volume in the same week last year.Intermodal volume grew 6.9 percent to 282,522 containers and trailers, while carload volume inched up 1.1 percent to 260,993 carloads, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.Six of the 10 commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted gains compared to the same week in 2017. They included nonmetallic minerals, up 2,021 carloads to 32,672 units; petroleum and petroleum products, up 1,356 carloads to 11,506 units; and miscellaneous carloads, up 639 carloads to 10,964 units.Commodity groups that decreased year over year include motor vehicles and parts, down 1,084 carloads to 17,729; coal, down 588 carloads to 86,586; and farm products (excluding grain), down 265 carloads to 15,960.Meanwhile, Canadian railroads' weekly carload volume fell 1.3 percent to 78,844 units, although intermodal volume grew 5.4 percent to 67,523 units. Mexican railroads reported 21,698 carloads for the week, down 1.7 percent, and 18,328 intermodal units, up 2 percent.For the first four weeks of 2018, U.S. railroads' cumulative carload volume fell 3.9 percent to 952,248 units. However, U.S. intermodal traffic grew 2.7 percent to 1,027,305 units.Total combined U.S. traffic for the first four weeks of 2018 was 1,979,553 carloads and intermodal units, down 0.6 percent compared to the same period last year.Canadian railroads' cumulative traffic volume nudged up 0.4 percent to 546,061 carloads, containers and trailers, while Mexican railroads' cumulative traffic slipped 0.3 percent to 148,189 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers.
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