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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic for last week rose almost 18%


For the week ending June 12, , total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 529,635 carloads and intermodal units, up 17.9% compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week were 241,628 units, up 21.8%, while intermodal volume was 288,007 containers and trailers, up 14.8%.

For some rail traffic categories, comparisons 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 that AAR tracks on a week basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2020. They included coal, up 19,229 carloads to 69,263; metallic ores and metals, up 8,242 carloads to 22,789; and chemicals, up 5,489 carloads to 32,967.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 75,753 carloads for the week, up 4.9%; and 73,492 intermodal units, up 14.3%. Mexican railroads logged 21,402 carloads for the week, up 2.8%; and 16,281 intermodal units, up 9.1%.

For the first 23 weeks of 2021 compared with the same period in 2020:
• U.S. railroads reported combined 11,791,394 carloads and intermodal units, up 13.7%;
• Canadian railroads reported cumulative traffic of 3,486,918 carloads and intermodal units, up 9%;
• Mexican railroads posted 827,943 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.7%. 

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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