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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: U.S. carloads up a smidge in September's first full week


U.S. rail traffic inched up in September’s first full week, which ended Sept. 10. They originated 278,382 carloads, up 0.1 percent, and 208,090 containers and trailers, up 0.6 percent compared with volumes from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Thirteen of 20 carload commodity groups posted gains, led by stone, clay and glass products (20.3 percent), lumber and wood products (15.8 percent) and petroleum products (14 percent).

Eastern intermodal volumes rebounded from Hurricane Irene disruptions by increasing 8 percent, but western intermodal volumes continued to remain weak, down 4 percent, “consistent with weaker import volumes off the West Coast,” according to Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.’s weekly “Rail Flash” report.

“Industry contacts [and] rail commentary reflect expectation for a later, muted peak season in September/October,” Baird analysts said in the report.
Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported weekly carloads totaling 74,969 units, up 5.3 percent, and 46,408 containers and trailers, down 1.8 percent year over year. Mexican railroads’ weekly carloads fell 3.5 percent to 13,763 units but intermodal volume climbed 26.5 percent to 9,977 units.
Through 2011’s first 36 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads originated 13.6 million carloads, up 2.1 percent, and 10.2 million containers and trailers, up 5.5 percent compared with volumes from the same 2010 period.

For more AAR traffic data for the week ending Sept. 10 and through 36 weeks, follow this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/16/2011