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AAR: U.S. rail traffic volume falls 11.6 percent in week No. 10


U.S. rail traffic volume dropped 11.6 percent in the week ending March 12, with total carloads down 12.8 percent and intermodal units down 10.3 percent compared with traffic totals during the same week in 2015, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday.

Total carloads for the week were 243,275, while intermodal volume was 245,902 containers and trailers. Intermodal volumes last year at this time were higher than usual due to the resolution of a labor dispute at West Coast ports, AAR officials said in a press release.

Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2015 included coal, down 34.1 percent to 71,221 carloads; petroleum and petroleum products, down 13.1 percent to 11,067 carloads; and metallic ores and metals, down 7.1 percent to 19,285 carloads.

Four of the 10 carload commodity groups logged increases during the week, including miscellaneous carloads, up 19.7 percent to 9,448 carloads; motor vehicles and parts, up 15.7 percent to 20,104 carloads; and chemicals, up 4.7 percent to 31,529 carloads.

Canadian railroads reported 70,526 carloads for the week, down 11.3 percent, and 56,346 intermodal units, down 3.9 percent compared with the same week in 2015. Mexican railroads reported 15,063 carloads for the week, down 6.7 percent compared with the same week last year, and 10,056 intermodal units, down 13.2 percent.

For the first 10 weeks of this year, U.S. railroads' cumulative volume of carloads dropped 12.9 percent to 2,437,375, while the volume of intermodal units rose 5.6 percent to 2,599,835.

Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 10 weeks of 2016 was 5,037,210 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 4.2 percent compared to last year.
Cumulative rail traffic volume on Canadian railroads for the first 10 weeks of 2016 was 1,291,546 carloads, containers and trailers, down 4.0 percent. On Mexican railroads, cumulative rail traffic volume for the period came in at 269,978 carloads, containers and trailers, up 0.8 percent from the same point last year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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