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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail carloads, intermodal volumes rose in Week 1


U.S. railroads posted a 4.8 percent increase in carload and intermodal units during January's first week compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

U.S. roads' carload activity rose 6.2 percent to 221,759 units, while intermodal volume climbed 3.4 percent to 214,344 containers and trailers for the week ending Jan. 5.

Eight of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases for the week. They included nonmetallic minerals, up 3,791 carloads to 25,665; metallic ores and metals, up 2,619 carloads to 21,738; and petroleum and petroleum products, up 2,413 carloads to 12,057.

Commodity groups that posted decreases were motor vehicles and parts, down 1,261 carloads to 9,213; and miscellaneous carloads, down 294 carloads to 7,251.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads moved 76,698 carloads during the period, up 14.5 percent, and 54,166 intermodal units, up 3.3 percent compared with the same week in 2018. Mexican railroads originated 14,901 carloads, down 5.8 percent, and 13,580 intermodal units, down 1.4 percent.

Combined weekly rail traffic in North America totaled 595,448 carloads and intermodal units, up 5.4 percent year over year.