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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. freight-rail traffic edges up in Week 41


Thanks to an increase in intermodal volume, U.S. freight rail traffic rose 1.9 percent to 520,452 carloads, containers and trailers for the week ending Oct. 10 compared with the same period in 2019, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week fell 5.2 percent to 230,964 units, while intermodal volume climbed 8.4 percent to 289,499 containers and trailers.

Six of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks weekly posted increases. They included grain, up 6,531 carloads to 27,434; motor vehicles and parts, up 810 to 16,103; and miscellaneous, up 655 to 10,030.

Commodity groups that logged decreases included coal, down 11,610 carloads to 62,229; nonmetallic minerals, down 5,053 to 30,479; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 2,438 to 10,259.

Also during the week, Canadian railroads reported 79,435 units, up 1.2 percent; and 79,211 intermodal units, up 8.5 percent. Mexican railroads reported 19,215 carloads, down 1.1 percent; and 15,803 intermodal units, down 20.2 percent.

For the first 41 weeks of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019:

• U.S. railroads logged 19,122,615 carloads, containers and trailers, down 10.1 percent;
• Canadian railroads posted 5,790,801 carloads and intermodal units, down 7 percent; and
• Mexican railroads reported 1,407,316 carloads, containers and trailers, down 10.7 percent.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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