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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic slips 2.8% in Week 48


U.S. freight railroads logged 527,406 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Dec. 4, a 2.8% decrease compared with rail traffic during the same week in 2020, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Traffic for the week totaled 255,044 carloads, up 3.9%, and 272,362 containers and trailers, down 8.4%.

Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks weekly posted an increase. They included nonmetallic minerals, up 4,198 carloads to 32,916; coal, up 3,284 carloads to 68,736; and metallic ores and metals, up 2,621 carloads to 22,526.

Commodity groups that posted decreases during the week were motor vehicles and parts, down 1,696 carloads to 14,751; petroleum and petroleum products, down 1,018 carloads to 10,714; and miscellaneous carloads, down 903 carloads to 10,428.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads hauled 70,735 carloads for the week, down 16%, and 56,913 intermodal units, down 24.3%. Mexican railroads posted 20,948 carloads for the week, up 8.3%, and 15,036 intermodal units, up 9.1%.

For the first 48 weeks of 2021 compared with the period in 2020:
• U.S. railroads reported 24,319,507 carloads and intermodal units, up 6.4%;
• Canadian railroads reported 7,044,531 carloads, containers and trailers, up 1.6%; and
• Mexican railroads reported 1,748,441 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 4.3%.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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