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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR weekly report: North American roads logged more carloads


U.S. railroads maintained their traffic momentum as March neared an end. During the week ending March 26, they originated 299,903 carloads, up 1.9 percent and 223,034 containers and trailers, up 5.7 percent compared with volumes from the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Eleven of 20 carload commodity groups registered gains.

Traffic remains above average given strong export coal demand, secular intermodal growth and recovering industrial end markets, said Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. analysts in their weekly “Rail Flash” report.

“More modest year-over-year growth trends in recent weeks reflect 2010 demand acceleration,” they said. “Encouragingly, recent volumes remain above seasonal compared to fourth-quarter 2010 average volume.”
Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported weekly carload volume of 77,241 units, up 2.4 percent, and 46,455 containers and trailers, up 1.9 percent year over year. Mexican railroads’ carloads increased 4.1 percent to 15,256 units, but intermodal volume declined 0.4 percent to 6,593 units.
Through 2011’s first 12 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads originated 4.5 million carloads, up 3.9 percent, and 3.2 million containers and trailers, up 7 percent compared with volumes from the same 2010 period.

For more AAR traffic data for the week ending March 26 and through 12 weeks, follow this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/1/2011