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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Week 24: Intermodal a drag on U.S. rail traffic


U.S. freight-rail traffic continued its downward trend during the week ending June 18, with railroads logging 501,207 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.5% compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads data.

Total carload volume ticked up 0.4% to 232,291 units, with six of the 10 carload commodity groups posting increases. However, U.S. railroads' intermodal traffic slumped 4.9% to 268,286 containers and trailers.

Among commodity groups that logged increases were grain, up 2,411 carloads to 22,012; nonmetallic minerals, up 860 carloads to 32,505; and motor vehicles and parts, up 833 carloads to 13,366. Commodity groups that posted decreases included metallic ores and metals, down 2,707 carloads to 20,915; coal, down 1,539 carloads to 66,281; and miscellaneous, down 382 carloads to 8,908.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 76,443 carloads for the week, down 0.2%, and 70,088 intermodal units, down 2.6% compared with the same week in 2021. Mexican railroads logged 19,482 carloads, down 15.2%, and 14,835 intermodal units, down 8.2%.

For the first 24 weeks of 2022 compared with the same period in 2021:

• U.S. railroads reported 11,878,984 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.5%;

• Canadian railroads reported 3,431,630 carloads, containers and trailers, down 5.6%; and

• Mexican railroads reported 888,269 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 2.1%.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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