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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: U.S. railroads logged slight volume dip in Week 44

Although carloads were down, intermodal traffic inched up 0.01 percent.
Photo – Association of American Railroads


U.S. railroads handled 538,739 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Nov. 4., marking a 0.8 percent decrease compared with traffic in the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week were down 1.7 percent to 266,652, while intermodal volume inched up 0.01 percent to 272,087 containers and trailers, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday.

Five of the 10 commodities that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases over the same week in 2016. They included metallic ores and metals, up 4,176 carloads to 22,716; nonmetallic minerals, up 2,411 carloads to 38,980; and chemicals, up 1,797 carloads to 31,552.

Commodity groups that decreased year over year include coal, which dropped 6,003 carloads to 86,843; grain, down 5,376 to 23,281; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 1,216 carloads to 9,665.

For the first 44 weeks of 2017, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 11,439,089 carloads, a 3.3 percent increase from the same point last year. In addition, cumulative intermodal volume ticked up 3.6 percent to 11,848,796 units.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 81,942 carloads for the week ending Nov. 4, representing a 0.9 percent increase compared with the same week last year. Canadian railroads' intermodal traffic soared 23.1 percent to 71,119 units for the week.

Mexican railroads' traffic fell 2.7 percent to 15,375 carloads for the week, while intermodal volume declined 4.9 percent to 11,741 units compared with a year ago.

For the first 44 weeks of 2017, Canadian railroads logged cumulative traffic volume of 6,405,460 carloads, containers and trailers, up 11.1 percent. Mexican railroads posted cumulative volume of 1,207,198 carloads and intermodal units, up 1 percent over last year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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