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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: Carloads fell in U.S., climbed in Canada and Mexico last week


In July’s first full week, U.S. carloads continued to trail last year’s pace while intermodal volume maintained growth momentum. During the week ending July 7, U.S. railroads originated 243,156 carloads, down 1 percent, and 203,362 containers and trailers, up 5.6 percent compared with volumes from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Seven of 20 carload commodity groups posted gains, led by petroleum products (54.8 percent), motor vehicles and equipment (52.7 percent), and food and kindred products (11.1 percent). The decliners included iron and steel scrap (29.6 percent), primary forest products (24.1 percent) and farm products excluding grain (23.6 percent).
For the week ending July 7, Canadian railroads reported 73,661 carloads, up 2.4 percent, and 48,436 containers and trailers, up 2.1 percent year over year. Mexican railroads boosted carloads 10.3 percent to 14,345 units and increased intermodal volume 3 percent to 9,062 units.
Through 2012’s first 27 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads originated 10,014,746 carloads, down 1.5 percent, and 7,859,802 containers and trailers, up 4.4 percent compared with volumes from the same 2011 period.

To access graphics provided by ASI-Transmatch that show changes to and depict trends in AAR weekly carloading data through July 7, log onto and scroll toward the bottom of the home page.

Meanwhile, RailAmerica Inc. yesterday reported that its June carloads totaled 72,820, up 3.7 percent compared with June 2011. “Same railroad” carloads inched up 1 percent to 70,965 units.

Five commodity groups posted double-digit increases in June: motor vehicles, 96.1 percent to 1,892 units; “other” traffic, 43.2 percent to 3,347 units; petroleum, 31 percent to 3,470 units; forest products, 10.8 percent to 4,797 units; and agricultural products, 10.5 percent to 11,790 units.