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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Week 2: U.S. railroads log more carloads, fewer intermodal units


U.S. rail volume dipped 6.6% to 493,617 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending Jan. 15 compared with the same period in 2021, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Although total volume for the week was down for U.S. railroads, they hauled 233,647 carloads, a 0.5% increase compared with the same week in 2021. But, they logged 259,970 containers and trailers, which was a 12.2% decrease.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks weekly posted increases. They were coal, up 10,296 carloads to 67,867; nonmetallic minerals, up 1,779 carloads to 27,367; and chemicals, up 67 carloads to 34,002.

Commodity groups that posted decreases included grain, down 3,196 carloads to 24,344; motor vehicles and parts, down 2,948 carloads to 12,382; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 2,653 carloads to 9,782.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads hauled 68,016 carloads during the week, down 21.3%, and 64,393 intermodal units, down 13.4%. Mexican railroads logged 22,022 carloads for the week, down 3.4%, and 15,299 intermodal units, down 4.4%. 

For the first two weeks of 2022 compared with the same period in 2021:
• U.S. railroads reported 934,378 carloads and intermodal units, down 11.3%;
• Canadian railroads reported 249,567 carloads, containers and trailers, down 20.2%; and
• Mexican railroads reported 66,710 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 8.4%.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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