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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. freight-rail traffic slipped 2.4 percent in Week 27


U.S. freight-rail traffic declined 2.4 percent to 437,989 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending July 4 compared with the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Carload volume decreased 12.7 percent to 192,767 units, while intermodal volume rose 7.7 percent to 245,222 containers and trailers during the week.

Two of 10 carload commodity groups posted increases: Farm products, excluding grain, and food were up 1,233 carloads to 15,148; and motor vehicles and parts were up 1,056 carloads to 12,152.

Commodity groups posting decreases included coal, down 10,949 carloads to 48,930; metallic ores and metals, down 6,872 carloads to 13,731; and nonmetallic minerals, down 5,000 carloads to 26,632.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads logged 69,121 carloads, down 11 percent; and 61,227 intermodal units, down 8.2 percent during the week. Mexican railroads reported 18,739 carloads, down 15.4 percent, and 14,586 intermodal units, down 17 percent.

Individual Class Is reported the following carloads for the week versus a year ago: BNSF Railway Co., 74,364 carloads down from 91,710; CN, 52,431 down from 60,753; Canadian Pacific, 29,116, down from 32,008; CSX, 50,568, down from 57,779; Kansas City Southern, 12,190, down from 15,283; Norfolk Southern Railway, 46,709, down from 57,185; and Union Pacific Railroad, 77,580, down from 83,585.

For the first 27 weeks of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019:
• U.S. railroads posted 12,137,565 carloads and intermodal units, down 12.8 percent;
• Canadian railroads reported 3,731,605 carloads, containers and trailers, down 8.3 percent; and
• Mexican railroads logged 906,886 carloads and intermodal units, down 10.8 percent. 

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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