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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Intermodal volume gain drives U.S. rail traffic increase in Week 43


As has been the case in recent weeks, intermodal volume gains helped lift traffic totals for U.S. freight railroads during the week ending Oct. 24 compared with the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

U.S. railroads logged 522,653 carloads and intermodal units, a 1.9% percent increase compared with the same week in 2019. Total carloads for the week were 227,543 units, down 6.5%, while intermodal volume was 295,110 containers and trailers, up 9.4%.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2019. They included grain, up 4,901 carloads to 26,044; chemicals, up 831 to 30,947; and motor vehicles and parts, up 602 to 15,462.

Commodity groups that posted decreases included coal, down 15,756 carloads to 57,536; nonmetallic minerals, down 3,360 to 31,072; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 2,827 to 10,169.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 80,384 carloads during the week, down 2.1%, and 79,792 intermodal units, up 12.4%. Mexican railroads reported 20,130 carloads, up 0.1%, and 14,478 containers and trailers, down 26.5%.

Individual Class Is handled the following carloads during the week compared with the same week last year: BNSF Railway Co., 83,632, down from 97,550; Canadian Pacific, 33,388, up from 32,464; CN, 60,462, down from 65,083; CSX, 65,913, up from 65,857; Kansas City Southern, 14,164, up from 14,070; Norfolk Southern Railway, 53,402, down from 61,228; and Union Pacific Railroad, 84,463, up from 84,022.

For the first 43 weeks of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019:
• U.S. railroads logged 20,164,031 carloads and intermodal units, down 9.6%;
• Canadian railroads reported 6,109,272 carloads, containers and trailers, down 6.4%; and
• Mexican railroads posted 1,476,419 carloads and intermodal units, down 10.8%.


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