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AAR: U.S. weekly rail traffic falls in carload and intermodal activity

U.S. railroads' traffic volume took a hit in both carloads and intermodal units for the week ending April 2 compared with traffic during the same week in 2015, according to data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Total U.S. railroads' carloads for the 13th week of 2016 declined 14.3 percent to 238,138, while intermodal volume fell 6.4 percent to 253,841 containers and trailers.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups followed by AAR posted increases compared with the same week a year ago. They included miscellaneous carloads, up 20.2 percent to 9,324 carloads; chemicals, up 12.1 percent to 34,131 carloads; and grain, up 4.3 percent to 21,761 carloads.

Commodity categories that showed decreases included coal, down 39.2 percent to 62,256 carloads; petroleum and petroleum products, down 24.6 percent to 10,670 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, down 3.2 percent to 17,330 carloads.

Canadian railroads posted 72,554 carloads for the week, down 6.8 percent, and 55,885 intermodal units, down 9.3 percent compared with the same week in 2015.

Mexican railroads beat those north-of-the-border trends for the week by logging 16,006 carloads, up 10.7 percent, and 10,080 intermodal units, up 35.7 percent.

For the first 13 weeks of the year compared with the same period a year ago, U.S. railroads' combined traffic fell 6.5 percent to 6,482,923 carloads and intermodal units; Canadian railroads' cumulative traffic dropped 5.5 percent to 1,669,001 carloads, containers and trailers; and Mexican railroads' cumulative volume slipped 0.2 percent to 342,696 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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