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11/1/2018



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: U.S. carload traffic back up in Week 43


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After decreasing in the previous week, the number of carloads hauled by U.S. railroads returned to the "increase" column for the week ending Oct. 27.

Total carloads rose 2.6 percent to 268,535 units, while total intermodal volume climbed 6.1 percent to 294,269 containers and trailers for the week compared with the same period a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

U.S. railroads' combined weekly traffic was 562,804 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.4 percent compared with the same week last year, AAR officials reported in a press release.

Eight of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR follows every week posted increases compared with the same week in 2017. They included coal, up 4,373 carloads to 87,975; petroleum and petroleum products, up 3,548 carloads to 13,188; and chemicals, up 1,681 carloads to 31,689.

Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2017 were nonmetallic minerals, down 4,097 carloads to 35,193; and motor vehicles and parts, down 816 carloads to 16,852.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 88,696 carloads for the week, up 7.5 percent, and 73,726 intermodal units, up 4.8 percent compared with the same week in 2017. Mexican railroads logged 19,712 carloads for the week, down 8.8 percent compared with the same week last year, and 21,327 intermodal units, down 1.7 percent.

For the first 43 weeks of 2018:
• U.S. railroads reported 23,302,468 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.8 percent compared with last year's volumes;
• Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 6,477,297 carloads, containers and trailers, up 3.7 percent compared with traffic in the year-ago period; and
• Mexican railroads reported 1,668,686 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers for the period. AAR did not report a traffic comparison for Mexican railroads during the first 43 weeks of 2017.



Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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