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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic continued upward climb in Week 22


U.S. railroads logged 489,144 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending June 5, up 12.9% compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Carloads for the week totaled 227,497 units, up 18.1%, while intermodal volume reached 261,647 containers and trailers, up 8.7%.

In some rail traffic categories, year-over-year percentage changes are inflated because of the widespread shutdowns — and subsequent large reduction in rail volumes — that impacted many economic sectors last year at this time, AAR officials said in a press release.

Nine of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked by the AAR posted gains compared with the same week in 2020. They included coal, up 16,326 carloads to 65,101; metallic ores and metals, up 9,915 carloads to 23,332; and chemicals, up 4,711 carloads to 32,602.

One commodity group posted a decrease compared with the same week in 2020: nonmetallic minerals, down 892 carloads to 29,220.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads posted 78,167 carloads for the week, up 13.6%, and 74,525 intermodal units, up 16.8%. Mexican railroads logged 18,497 carloads, down 5.1%, and 13,843 intermodal units, down 11%.

Through the first 22 weeks of 2021 compared with the same 2020 period:
• U.S. railroads reported 11,261,759 carloads and intermodal units, up 13.5%;
• Canadian railroads registered 3,337,673 carloads, containers and trailers, up 9%; and
• Mexican railroads logged 790,260 carloads, containers and trailers, up 4.7%.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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