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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: U.S. intermodal volume up, carloads down in Week 42


After a long string of weekly carload gains, U. S. railroads registered a decline in the year’s 42nd week. For the week ending Oct. 20, the roads posted 265,776 carloads, down 0.7 percent compared with volume in the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

However, their weekly intermodal volume increased 1.6 percent to 289,330 units and total traffic inched up 0.5 percent to 555,106 units.

Only five of 10 carload commodity groups posted gains, including petroleum and petroleum products (up 1,790 carloads) metallic ores and metals (up 1,056 carloads). Commodity groups that registered declines include nonmetallic minerals, grain, farm products excluding grain and food.

Through 2018’s first 42 weeks, U.S. railroads reported 11,047,756 carloads, up 1.8 percent, and 11,691,908 intermodal units, up 5.7 percent year over year.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads for the week ending Oct. 20 registered 87,523 carloads, up 5.3 percent, and 71,830 intermodal units, up 2.1 percent compared with volumes in the same week last year. Through 42 weeks, their cumulative traffic rose 3.6 percent to 6,314,875 units.

Mexican railroads for the week reported 21,192 carloads, up 2.5 percent, and 19,947 intermodal units, down 3.2 percent year over year. Their cumulative volume through 42 weeks totaled 1,627,647 units (no year-over-year comparison was provided by the AAR).

Total volume through 42 weeks for 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads reached 30,682,186 units, up 3.4 percent compared with the same 2017 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/25/2018