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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. railroads report mixed traffic results for March


U.S. railroads' combined carloads and intermodal volume dropped 3% to 2,507,684 units in March compared with volume in March 2021, according to Association of American Railroads data.

U.S. railroads hauled 1,169,546 carloads last month, a 1.2% increase compared with last year. However, intermodal traffic fell 6.4% to 1,338,138 containers and trailers.

Last month was "another mixed month" for U.S. rail volumes, said AAR Senior Vice President John Gray in a press release.

"It was the best month ever for carloads of chemicals, while carloads of crushed stone and sand, food products, lumber and motor vehicles were higher than they’ve been in months," he said. "On the other hand, carloads of grain, petroleum products and paper products, among others, were down in March."

Those conflicting trends reflect an economic uncertainty that needs to be resolved before the economy's full potential can be realized, Gray added.

Excluding coal, carloads were down 0.4% in March. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were up 1.5%.

Total U.S. carload traffic for the first three months of 2022 climbed 2.6% to 2,987,140 units, while total intermodal volume fell 6.9% to 3,369,898 containers and trailers compared with the same period a year ago.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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