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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: U.S. rail traffic growth decelerates in July


U.S. railroads hauled 1,970,839 carloads and intermodal units in July, up 3.8% compared with volumes in July 2020, according to Association for American Railroads (AAR) data.

Although the traffic generated was higher than the year-ago period, the percentage increase was “significantly lower than in other recent months, both because of more difficult comparisons and because various external factors have led to a recent deceleration in rail volumes," said AAR Senior Vice President John Gray in a press release.

"For example, grain exports are down sharply, taking rail carloads of grain down with them; automakers are still hampered by semiconductor shortages, leading to sharply lower rail auto volumes; and worldwide supply chain slowdowns are impacting both rail customers and railroads themselves," Gray said. "While all of these should be manageable, temporary setbacks, their convergence has resulted in weaker rail volumes than basic domestic economic factors might otherwise imply."

U.S. railroads logged 904,670 carloads last month, up 6.6%, and 1,066,169 containers and trailers, up 1.5%.

U.S. traffic for the first seven months of 2021 totaled 6,907,195 carloads, up 9.1% from the same period last year; and 8,398,236 intermodal units, up 15.2%.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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