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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. carload volume dipped in Week 46


U.S. railroads' total carload traffic fell 1.1 percent to 262,514 units, while their intermodal volume rose 1.1 percent to 284,027 containers and trailers in the week ending Nov. 17, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total traffic volume ticked up a meager 0.04 percent to 546,541 carloads and intermodal units for the week versus a year ago.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups that the AAR follows on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2017. They were petroleum and petroleum products, up 2,440 carloads to 12,623; grain, up 1,668 carloads to 23,601; and miscellaneous carloads, up 164 carloads to 9,897.

Commodity groups that posted decreases for the week included nonmetallic minerals, down 3,496 carloads to 33,262; motor vehicles and parts, down 2,009 carloads to 16,018; and farm products excluding grain, and food, down 613 carloads to 16,141.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads logged 86,834 carloads for the week, up 8.7 percent, and 69,418 intermodal units, up 1.7 percent compared with the same week in 2017. Mexican railroads posted 20,973 carloads for the week, down 8.5 percent, and 17,099 intermodal units, down 14.2 percent.

For the first 46 weeks of 2018:
• U.S. railroads reported total combined traffic of 24,956,291 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.7 percent compared with traffic during the same period a year ago;
• Canadian railroads posted combined traffic of 6,954,084 carloads, containers and trailers, up 3.8 percent; and
• Mexican railroads logged 1,784,604 carloads, containers and trailers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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