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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. carloads flat, intermodal traffic up a tad in week No. 25, AAR says

For the week ending June 22, U.S. carloads were essentially flat at 288,224 while U.S. intermodal traffic rose 2.7 percent to 252,807 units compared with the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads.

In total, U.S. traffic ratcheted up 1.2 percent to 541,031 units. Four of 10 carload commodity groups registered gains, led by petroleum and petroleum products at 37.2 percent. Industrial products volume rose 8 percent and chemical loads increased 5 percent while grain carloads declined 23.3 percent, agricultural products volume dipped 10 percent and coal traffic slipped 3 percent.

Strength in industrial and chemical volumes helped offset continued weakness in ag and coal, Robert W Baird & Co. Inc. analysts said in their weekly "Rail Flash" report. Excluding coal and intermodal, U.S. railroads' volume rose 3 percent for the week, they said.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported week No. 25 carloads totaling 76,625, up 1.5 percent, and intermodal volume totaling 55,283 units, up 2.1 percent year over year. Mexican railroads' weekly carloads climbed 6.8 percent to 16,369, but their intermodal volume decreased 2.8 percent to 10,466 units.

Through 2013's first 25 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads handled 9,277,359 carloads, down 0.4 percent, and 7,564,831 containers and trailers, up 3.9 percent compared with the same 2012 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/28/2013