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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. railroads logged fewer carloads, intermodal units in Week 14


U.S. railroads reported a 2.8 percent decline in carload and intermodal volume for the week ending April 6 compared with the same week a year ago, according to Association for American Railroads (AAR) data.

Combined, the railroads logged 510,192 carloads and intermodal units during the week. The total number of transported carloads fell 3.9 percent to 251,417 units, while intermodal dipped 1.6 percent to 258,775 containers and trailers versus year-ago levels.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases during the week. They were petroleum and petroleum products, up 1,711 carloads to 11,610; nonmetallic minerals, up 493 carloads to 36,059; and motor vehicles and parts, up 434 carloads to 17,557.

Commodity groups that logged decreases included coal, down 6,417 carloads to 75,048; grain, down 3,525 carloads to 21,815; and chemicals, down 1,347 carloads to 32,358.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 88,569 carloads for the week, up 6.4 percent, and 72,970 intermodal units, up 5.5 percent compared with the same week in 2018. Mexican railroads reported 20,688 carloads for the week, up 0.5 percent compared with the same week last year, and 17,954 intermodal units, up 6.4 percent.

For the first 14 weeks of 2019 versus the same period a year ago:
• U.S. railroads' cumulative volume fell 1.8 percent to 7,182,258 carloads and intermodal units;
• Canadian railroads' cumulative volume rose 1.8 percent to 2,050,613 carloads, containers and trailers; and
• Mexican railroads' cumulative volume dropped 4.9 percent to 507,208 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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