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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. carload, intermodal volumes up 7.7% in Week 8


U.S. freight-rail traffic soared 7.7% to 483,656 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending Feb. 24 compared with volume in the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads data.

Total carloads for the week rose 2.6% to 224,251, while containers and trailers jumped 12.6% to 259,405.

Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups the AAR tracks every week posted an increase. They included chemicals, up 9% to 33,454 carloads; grain, up 12.8% to 21,698; and motor vehicles and parts, up 16% to 15,931.

The three commodity groups that logged decreases were coal, down 4% to 61,556 carloads; nonmetallic minerals, -6.7% to 27,533; and forest products, -1.7% to 8,460.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 94,066 carloads for the week, a 5.8% increase, and 69,511 intermodal units, a 4.3% increase. Mexican railroads posted 18,516 carloads, up 3.2%, and 12,990 containers and trailers, up 14%.

For the first eight weeks of 2024 compared with 2023:
• U.S. railroads logged 3,673,904 carloads and intermodal units, up 1.5%;
• Canadian railroads posted 1,233,049 carloads, containers and trailers, down 2.8%; and
• Mexican railroads reported 215,683 carloads, containers and trailers, up 6.8%.