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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. freight-rail volume dips 4.7% in Week 45


U.S. freight railroads hauled 502,613 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Nov. 13, a 4.7% decrease in volume compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week were 235,867 units, up 1.7%, while intermodal volume was 266,746 containers and trailers, down 9.7%.

Six of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2020. They included coal, up 6,917 carloads to 67,225; nonmetallic minerals, up 1,913 carloads to 30,983; and chemicals, up 1,555 carloads to 33,513.

Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2020 included grain, down 3,772 carloads to 25,336; motor vehicles and parts, down 2,800 carloads to 12,690; and miscellaneous carloads, down 729 carloads to 9,414.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads logged 77,772 carloads for the week, down 2.7%, and 70,295 intermodal units, down 9%. Mexican railroads posted 21,294 carloads for the week, up 4.7%, and 15,225 intermodal units, up 1.7%.

For the first 45 weeks of 2021 compared with the same week in 2020:

  • U.S. railroads reported 22,852,999 carloads and intermodal units, up 7.2%;
  • Canadian railroads reported 6,678,287 carloads, containers and trailers, up 3.5%; and
  • Mexican railroads reported 1,634,555 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 3.9%.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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