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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. railroads post traffic slump in Week 8


U.S. railroads logged 482,690 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Feb. 22, down 7.6 percent compared with freight moved during the same week in 2019, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Total carloads for the week was 232,869 units, down 9.3 percent, while intermodal volume was 249,821 containers and trailers, down 6 percent.

Four of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks every week posted increases. They included chemicals, up 2,366 carloads to 33,284; petroleum and petroleum products, up 1,217 carloads to 13,401; and motor vehicles and parts, up 1,193 carloads to 17,898.

Commodity groups that posted decreases during the week included included coal, down 23,225 carloads to 63,540; grain, down 2,785 carloads to 18,909; and nonmetallic minerals, down 1,628 carloads to 29,854.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 76,331 carloads for the week, up 1.9 percent, and 56,299 intermodal units, down 14.9 percent, compared with the same week in 2019. Mexican railroads' traffic results were mixed, with carloads declining 6.4 percent to 20,143 units, and intermodal volume rising 1.1 percent to 18,603 containers and trailers.

For the first eight weeks of 2020 versus the same period in 2019:
• U.S. railroads posted combined traffic of 3,857,969 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.4 percent;
• Canadian railroads logged cumulative traffic of 1,121,322 carloads, containers and trailers, down 1.7 percent;
• Mexican railroads reported 298,985 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 8.9 percent; and
• North American railroads combined logged 5,278,276 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.7 percent.