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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: U.S. carload, intermodal volumes climb in Week 20


U.S. rail traffic for the week ending May 22 was 528,774 carloads and intermodal units, up 23.4% compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week were 242,227 units, up 27.2%, while intermodal volume was 286,547 containers and trailers, up 20.4%.

For some rail traffic categories, percentage changes for the current week compared with the same week in 2020 are inflated because of the widespread shutdowns — and subsequent large reduction in rail volumes — that impacted many economic sectors last year at this time, AAR officials said in a press release.

All 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2020. They included coal, up 17,877 carloads to 64,641; motor vehicles and parts, up 8,887 carloads to 13,763; and metallic ores and metals, up 8,697 carloads to 23,516.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 76,170 carloads for the week, up 16%, and 75,644 intermodal units, up 22.4%. Mexican railroads reported 22,396 carloads, up 28.8%, and 16,533 intermodal units, up 13.1%. 

For the first 20 weeks of 2021 compared with 2020:
• U.S. railroads logged 10,242,390 carloads and intermodal units, up 12.7%;
• Canadian railroads logged 3,035,544 carloads, containers and trailers, up 8.5%; and
• Mexican railroads logged 732,441 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 6.6%.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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