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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR: U.S. roads notched more carloads in week No. 21


Traffic gains continued for U.S. railroads into May’s last full week. During the week ending May 28, they originated 288,049 carloads, up 0.7 percent, and 234,668 intermodal loads, up 4.2 percent compared with volumes from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Seven of 20 carload commodity groups posted gains. Industrial products traffic increased 2 percent, consistent with recent months, but “modestly slower than the 3 percent year-over-year growth in the past two weeks,” said Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. analysts in their latest “Rail Flash” report.

“Slower growth in this segment has been broadly consistent with slower industrial production and ISM [Industrial Supply Management] expectations,” they said. “We will continue to monitor this segment as an assessment of broader freight demand and economic health.”

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported weekly carloads totaling 75,412, up 6.5 percent, and intermodal volume totaling 46,472 units, down 0.1 percent year over year. Mexican railroads’ weekly carloads dropped 10.7 percent to 13,665 units, but intermodal volume soared 29.4 percent to 8,944 units.
Through 2011’s first 21 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads originated just short of 8 million carloads, up 2.9 percent, and 5.8 million containers and trailers, up 7.7 percent year over year.

For more AAR traffic data for the week ending May 28 and through 21 weeks, follow this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/3/2011