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Total North American rail traffic was down in the first week of 2016, but intermodal traffic was up, according to data released yesterday by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
North American rail volume for the week ending Jan. 9 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 323,005 carloads, a decrease of 11.8 percent compared with the same week in 2015. Intermodal volume, however, rose 6.8 percent to 327,314 units.
U.S. railroads reported weekly rail traffic of 498,160 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.7 percent compared the same week a year ago. Total carloads declined 13.5 percent, while intermodal volume rose 7.5 percent.
Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases for the week compared with a year ago. They included miscellaneous carloads, up 23 percent; motor vehicles and parts, up 10.6 percent; and chemicals, up 6.2 percent.
Commodity groups that posted decreases included coal, down 30.7 percent; metallic ores and metals, down 18.1 percent; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 15.1 percent.
Canadian railroads posted 68,493 carloads for the week, a decrease of 8.3 percent; and 58,596 intermodal units, an increase of 4.5 percent. Mexican railroads logged 15,291 carloads for the week, up 3.8 percent; and 9,779 intermodal units, up 4.8 percent.