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3/1/2018



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Intermodal traffic led volume growth in Week 8


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North American railroads' intermodal traffic continued on a growth path for the week ending Feb. 24, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

North American rail volume for the week on 12 reporting  U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 363,753 intermodal units, up 6.4 percent compared with the same week a year ago. However, combined carload volume fell 2.7 percent to 346,089 units compared with 2017.

Still, total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 709,842 carloads and intermodal units, up 1.8 percent, according to an AAR press release.

For U.S. railroads, total carloads for the week slipped 1.3 percent to 251,970 units, while intermodal volume climbed 6.7 percent to 276,470 containers and trailers.

Four of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2017. They included coal, up 781 carloads to 85,600; petroleum and petroleum products, up 602 carloads to 10,047; and farm products excluding grain and food, up 103 carloads to 16,494.

Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2017 included grain, down 1,157 carloads to 20,143; motor vehicles and parts, down 1,093 carloads to 17,527; and nonmetallic minerals, down 1,044 carloads to 31,511.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 72,911 carloads for the week, down 6.7 percent, and 68,277 intermodal units, up 6.1 percent compared with the same week in 2017. Mexican railroads logged 21,208 carloads for the week, down 4.8 percent compared with the same week last year, and 19,006 intermodal units, up 2.9 percent.

In the first eight weeks of 2018 compared with a year ago:
• North American rail volume for the first eight weeks of 2018 was 5,528,880 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.7 percent;
• U.S. railroads posted 4,115,494 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 1 percent;
• Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 1,111,750 carloads, containers and trailers, level with a year ago; and
• Mexican railroads logged cumulative volume of 301,636 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 1.1 percent.



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