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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: North American railroads ramped up carloads last week


It wasn’t quite November’s first full week, but it was a good start to the month nonetheless for U.S. railroads. During the week ending Nov. 5, they originated 298,465 carloads, up 3.4 percent, and 239,180 containers and trailers, up 3.5 percent compared with volumes from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Fifteen of 20 carload commodity groups posted gains, led by metallic ores (23.2 percent), non-metallic minerals (23 percent), and metals and products (19.9 percent). However, farm product carloads excluding grain fell 17.8 percent, grain volume tumbled 11.4 percent and primary forest product loads declined 10.5 percent.

Industrial products volume continued to outpace traffic in other commodity segments, according to Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.’s weekly “Rail Flash” report.

“Metal and lumber-related volumes continued to drive industrial growth trends, balanced against slower stone, clay and glass products, and negative pulp and paper volumes,” Baird analysts said in the report.
Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported weekly carloads totaling 80,439 units, up 2 percent, and intermodal volume totaling 52,025 units, up 7.2 percent year over year. During the week ending Nov. 5, Mexican railroads’ carloads increased 3.8 percent to 13,639 units and intermodal volume soared 25.2 percent to 8,537 units.
Through 2011’s first 44 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads originated 16.8 million carloads, up 2.1 percent, and 12.6 million containers and trailers, up 5 percent compared with volumes from the same 2010 period.

For more AAR traffic data for the week ending Nov. 5 and through 44 weeks, follow this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/11/2011