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U.S. rail traffic for the week ending July 17 totaled 513,255 carloads and intermodal units, up 6.6% compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.
Total carloads for that week were 235,303 carloads, up 9.7%, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 277,952 containers and trailers, up 4.1%.
For some traffic categories, percentage changes for the week were 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 news release.
Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2020. They included coal, up 13,057 carloads to 69,186; metallic ores and metals, up 7,207 carloads to 22,975; and chemicals, up 2,785 carloads to 32,784.
Also during the week, Canadian railroads reported 70,017 carloads, down 3.5%, and 63,748 intermodal units, down 5.7%. Mexican railroads reported 20,658 carloads, up 13.2%, and 16,633 intermodal units, up 15.7%.
For the first 28 weeks of 2021 compared with the same period in 2020:• U.S. railroads reported 14,299,672 carloads and intermodal units, up 13%;• Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 4,171,704 carloads, containers and trailers, up 7.6%; and• Mexican railroads 1,021,663 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 6.1%.