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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. freight railroads log carload, intermodal growth in Week 10


Total U.S. freight-rail traffic rose 12.5% to 520,736 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending March 13 compared with the same week a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

U.S. railroads logged a total of 230,684 carloads, a 2.1% increase, and intermodal volume of 290,052 containers and trailers, a 22.4% increase, compared with the same week in 2020.

Six of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR follows weekly posted increases. They included coal, grain, farm products excluding grain, and food.

Commodity groups that logged decreases during the week included motor vehicles and parts, chemicals, and petroleum and petroleum products.

Canadian railroads reported weekly carloads declined 2.6% to 82,428 units, and intermodal volume climbed 22.9% to 74,677 containers and trailers. Mexican railroads reported carload volume fell 13.4% to 20,444 units, and intermodal volume rose 2.7% to 16,390 containers and trailers.

Individual Class Is reported the following carload volume during the week compared with a year ago: BNSF Railway Co., 88,420 carloads, up from 84,803; Canadian Pacific, 35,665, up from 34,897; CN, 60,811, down from 64,743; CSX, 64,760, down from 67,404; Kansas City Southern, 15,315, up from 13,810; Norfolk Southern Railway, 59,151, up from 56,278; and Union Pacific Railroad, 83,077, down from 86,935.

For the first 10 weeks of 2021 compared with the same period in 2020:
• U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 4,980,025 carloads and intermodal units, up 2.7%;
• Canadian railroads reported a cumulative volume of 1,500,759 carloads, containers and trailers, up 5.6%; and
• Mexican railroads reported cumulative volume of 369,227 carloads and intermodal units, down 5.8%.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/18/2021