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U.S. rail intermodal volume outpaces carloads in Week 15


U.S. railroads reported a 4.3 percent increase in traffic for the week ending April 14, logging 534,198 carloads and intermodal units compared with the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Intermodal volume outpaced growth in carload activity during the week, with railroads moving 276,075 containers and trailers, up 6.9 percent, and 258,123 carloads, up 1.6 percent compared with the same week in 2017, according to AAR data.

Nine of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases during the week compared to last year. They included motor vehicles and parts, up 2,609 carloads to 18,838; metallic ores and metals, up 2,174 carloads to 24,785; and nonmetallic minerals, up 1,420 carloads to 37,834.

The only commodity group that logged a decrease for the week was coal, which was down 6,265 carloads to 75,778 compared to a year ago.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported intermodal volume climbed 7.7 percent to 67,335 units for the week, while carload activity increased just 0.9 percent to 84,648 units compared with the same week last year.

Mexican railroads posted 20,854 carloads for the week and 17,499 intermodal units. In its weekly data announced yesterday, AAR did not include Mexican railroads' carload and intermodal activity for the same week in 2017.

For the first 15 weeks of 2018 compared to the year-ago period: U.S. railroads reported a combined total of 7,851,683 carloads and intermodal units, up 2.8 percent;
and Canadian railroads posted cumulative rail traffic volume of 2,168,076 carloads, containers and trailers, up 3.1 percent.

Mexican railroads logged 569,014 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers for the first 15 weeks of 2018.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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