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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: U.S. freight-rail traffic rose 2.1% in Week 12


U.S. railroads logged 470,593 carloads and intermodal units in the week ending March 23, a 2.1% increase compared with volume recorded for the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads data.

Carloads for the week totaled 215,277, down 6.1%, while total intermodal volume totaled 255,316 containers and trailers, up 10.2%.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks weekly posted an increase compared with the same week in 2023. They included grain, up 14.6%; chemicals, up 5.7%; and motor vehicles and parts, up 5.8%.

Commodity groups that posted decreases included coal, -20.9%; nonmetallic minerals, -9.3%; and metallic ores and metals, -10.3.

Also during the week, Canadian railroads reported 91,620 carloads, down 3.1 %, and 73,851 intermodal units, up 7.9%. Mexican railroads posted 17,104 carloads, down 7.8%, and 11,632 intermodal units, up 3.2%.

For the first 12 weeks of 2024 compared with the same period in 2023:
• U.S. railroads reported 5,569,823 carloads and intermodal units, up 2.5%;
• Canadian railroads reported 1,887,198 carloads, containers and trailers, down 0.9%; and
• Mexican railroads reported 341,562 carloads, containers and trailers, up 6.6%.