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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

North American railroad traffic slump continues


Both carload traffic and intermodal volumes fell for North American railroads during the week ending Aug. 13, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday.

U.S. railroads logged 267,589 carloads, down 7.1 percent, and 266,944 intermodal containers and trailers, down 3.4 percent, compared with the same week in 2015. Total U.S. rail traffic was 534,533 carloads and intermodal units, down 5.3 percent compared with the same week last year.

Three of 10 carload commodity groups posted increases during the week. They were grain, up 27.6 percent to 25,232 carloads; chemicals, up 4.3 percent to 30,447 carloads; and miscellaneous carloads, up 0.5 percent to 9,999 carloads.

The commodity groups that posted decreases included petroleum and petroleum products, down 25.2 percent to 10,484 carloads; coal, down 16.4 percent to 88,905 carloads; and forest products, down 7.5 percent to 10,281 carloads.

Canadian railroads during the week posted 69,369 carloads, down 5.7 percent, and 61,971 intermodal units, down 3.6 percent. Mexican railroads reported 15,187 carloads for the week, down 10.1 percent, and 10,931 intermodal units, down 7.3 percent.

Cumulative volumes for the first 32 weeks of the year compared with the same period a year ago were: U.S. railroads, down 7.3 percent to 16,102,115 carloads and intermodal units; Canadian railroads, down 7.3 percent to 4,097,074 carloads and intermodal units; and Mexican railroads, down 1.8 percent to 859,977 carloads and intermodal units.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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