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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends
AAR: U.S. rail traffic continued to post gains in July
For the week ending July 19, U.S. railroads logged 299,256 carloads, up 7.6 percent, and 267,675 intermodal units, up 5.6 percent compared with volumes from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads.
Total combined U.S. traffic rose 6.7 percent to 566,931 units and nine of 10 of carload commodity groups posted gains, led by motor vehicles and parts at 46 percent, grain at 27.4 percent, and petroleum and petroleum products at 25.3 percent. The sole decliner was coal, down 0.4 percent.
For the week ending July 19, Canadian railroads reported 82,637 carloads, up 11 percent, and 59,477 intermodal units, up 6.1 percent year over year. Mexican railroads' weekly carloads increased 3.1 percent to 16,252 units but their intermodal volume dipped 0.9 percent to 11,423 units.
Through 2014's first 29 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads handled 11,036,893 carloads, up 3 percent, and 9,308,180 containers and trailers, up 6 percent compared with the same 2013 period.
Meanwhile, FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for May was basically unchanged from April's low mark, reflecting continued tight freight capacity.
"Although shippers are not struggling to find capacity as they were during the storms earlier in the year, capacity remains tight for both truck and rail," said FTR President Eric Starks in a press release. "The driver shortage continues to limit trucking, while service levels on the rails have been an issue. Shippers are increasingly pressured to maximize capacity by collaborating with carriers to increase productivity."
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.