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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. railroads' carload, intermodal traffic up in Week 10


U.S. railroads logged a 6.2 percent traffic increase in the week ending March 10, with growth reported in both carload and intermodal activity compared with the same week a year ago.

Total carloads for the week rose 1.6 percent to 256,075 carload compared with the same week in 2017, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume soared 10.8 percent to 278,207 containers and trailers, according to the Association of American Railroads' data.

Six of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks weekly posted increases compared with the same week in 2017. They included coal, up 4,134 carloads to 83,696; chemicals, up 2,089 carloads to 32,884; and farm products (excluding grain) and food, up 829 carloads to 16,882.

Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the previous year included motor vehicles and parts, down 1,573 carloads to 16,818; grain, down 1,253 carloads to 22,995; and miscellaneous carloads, down 951 carloads to 8,876.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 79,844 carloads for the week, up 3.8 percent, and 69,402 intermodal units, up 19.9 percent compared with the same week in 2017. Mexican railroads posted 21,829 carloads for the week, down 1.2 percent compared with the same week last year, and 18,348 intermodal units, up 11.5 percent.

For the first 10 weeks of 2018 compared with the same period in 2017:
• U.S. railroads logged combined traffic of 5,193,970 carloads and intermodal units, up 2 percent;
• Canadian railroads posted cumulative volume of 1,411,060 carloads, containers and trailers, up 1.7 percent; and
• Mexican railroads reported 382,199 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 0.4 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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