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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. rail traffic total slipped in Week 33


U.S. railroads hauled 501,273 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending Aug. 21, a 2.6% decrease compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads ticked up 0.4% to 230,754 units, while intermodal volume dipped 5.1% to 270,519 containers and trailers.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked by the AAR posted increases during the week compared with the same week in 2020. They included metallic ores and metals, up 4,551 carloads to 23,522; nonmetallic minerals, up 2,802 carloads to 33,109; and miscellaneous carloads, up 1,042 carloads to 10,653.

Commodity groups that posted decreases included grain, down 4,483 carloads to 18,098; motor vehicles and parts, down 2,513 carloads to 13,974; and farm products excl. grain, and food, down 1,042 carloads to 14,906.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 74,355 carloads for the week, up 3.1%, and 73,855 intermodal units, up 7.4%. Mexican railroads logged 19,849 carloads, down 6.1%, and 15,339 intermodal units, down 15.2%.

For the first 33 weeks of 2021 compared with the same period in 2020:
• U.S. railroads reported 16,821,121 carloads and intermodal units, up 11.1%;
• Canadian railroads reported 4,899,749 carloads, containers and trailers, up 6.9%; and
• Mexican railroads reported 1,213,105 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 6%.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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