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U.S. railroads logged a traffic increase of 5% during the week ending Feb. 12, marking the first time in 2022 that railroads posted a combined increase in volume compared with the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.
The railroads posted a total of 504,482 carloads and intermodal units for the week. Total carloads rose 11.9% to 236,457 units, while intermodal volume dipped just slightly — by 0.4% — to 268,025 containers and trailers.
Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2021. They included coal, up 14,634 carloads to 69,021; nonmetallic minerals, up 5,315 carloads to 28,262; and farm products excluding grain and food, up 2,022 carloads to 16,911.
The commodity groups that posted decreases were petroleum and petroleum products, down 345 carloads to 9,673; motor vehicles and parts, down 305 carloads to 13,659; and miscellaneous carloads, down 282 carloads to 9,649.
Canadian railroads also reported an increase in volume for the week: Carloads rose 5.2% to 72,963 units and intermodal volume climbed 4.7% to 67,484 containers and trailers.
Mexican railroads reported 20,178 carloads for the week, down 3.6%, and 15,465 intermodal units, down 12.4%.
For the first six weeks of 2022 compared with the same period in 2021:• U.S. railroads 2,866,342 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.9%;• Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 793,071 carloads, containers and trailers, down 12.2%; and• Mexican railroads reported 220,307 carloads, containers and trailers, down 2.5%.