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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR weekly report: All North American railroads report traffic gains


The traffic beat goes on for U.S. railroads. During the week ending March 19, they originated 293,772 carloads, up 2.3 percent, and 222,788 containers and trailers, up 10.7 percent compared with volumes from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Twelve of 20 carload commodity groups registered gains and container volume remained high. Domestic intermodal demand has been solid in the first quarter, although broader transport trends on the West Coast have been weak quarter to date, said Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. analysts in their weekly “Rail Flash” report.

“However, western railroads’ intermodal volumes solidly rebounded in week 11, which we expect reflects an improvement in trends on the West Coast,” they said. “Similarly, truckload contacts indicate that West Coast volumes notably improved in the recent week.”
Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported weekly carloads of 75,199 units, up 1.1 percent, and intermodal volume of 46,462 units, up 3.4 percent year over year. Mexican railroads boosted weekly carloads 17.4 percent to 14,846 units and increased intermodal volume 14.3 percent to 6,753 units.
Through 2011’s first 11 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads originated 4.1 million carloads, up 4.1 percent, and nearly 3 million containers and trailers, up 7.2 percent compared with volumes from the same 2010 period.

For more AAR traffic data for the week ending March 19 and through 11 weeks, follow this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/25/2011