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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. carload, intermodal volumes fell in March


U.S. rail traffic continued its slump in March, falling 5.2 percent to 2,022,934 carloads and intermodal units compared with volumes in March 2018, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

U.S. carload volume for the month dipped 8.9 percent to 957,144 units versus a year ago, while intermodal levels dipped 1.5 percent to 1,065,790 containers and trailers.

Four of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by AAR on a monthly basis posted gains last month, including petroleum and petroleum products, up 8,290 units or 21.1 percent; motor vehicles and parts, up 1,215 units or 1.8 percent; and nonmetallic minerals, up 927 units or 6.3 percent.

Commodities that logged decreases included coal, down 64,804 carloads or 19.1 percent; grain, down 11,837 carloads or 12.6 percent; and crushed stone, sand and gravel, down 8,732 carloads or 9.1 percent.

Excluding coal, carloads were down 28,812 units, or 4.1 percent, in March 2019 from March 2018. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were down 16,975 units, or 2.8 percent.

Total U.S. carload traffic for the first three months of 2019 was 3,195,609 units, down 3.1 percent compared with the same period last year; and 3,476,457 intermodal units, down 0.6 percent from last year.