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U.S. freight railroads continued to post traffic gains during December, when railroads moved 405,111 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Dec. 26, an 8.4% increase compared with volume moved during the same week in 2019, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.
As has been the case for the past several months, intermodal gains helped boost total volume. Railroads logged 185,029 carloads, down 3.4% during the week, but also logged 220,082 containers and trailers, up 20.8%.
Four of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase during the week. They included grain, up 6,242 carloads to 21,769; motor vehicles and parts, up 1,647 to 10,211; and miscellaneous, up 997 to 6,647.
Commodity groups that posted decreases included coal, down 9,611 carloads to 50,742; metallic ores and metals, down 1,589 to 18,330; and chemicals, down 1,394 to 27,479.
Meanwhile, Canadian railroads moved 70,407 carloads for the week, down 0.8%, and 57,027 intermodal units, up 8.1%. Mexican railroads hauled 15,734 carloads, up 14.1%, and 11,788 intermodal units, down 5.7%.
For the first 52 weeks of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019:• U.S. railroads reported 24,735,526 carloads, containers and trailers, down 7.4%;• Canadian railroads reported 7,505,256 carloads, containers and trailers, down 4.2%; and• Mexican railroads reported 1,798,544 carloads, containers and trailers, down 9.6%.