U.S. Rail Traffic Continues to Increase

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has reported that U.S. rail traffic for the week ending February 11, 2017, totaled 518,431 carloads and intermodal units, a 2.6 percent increase compared to the same week in 2016.

U.S. carloads, which totaled 253,670 for the week, were up by 3.9 percent compared to the same week last year. U.S. intermodal volume for the week totaled 264,761 units, an increase of 1.5 percent compared to 2016.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups that are tracked by the AAR posted an increase for the week ending February 11, 2017, when compared with the same week in 2016. Coal saw an increase of 18.7 percent to 89,318 carloads, and nonmetallic minerals were up 4.2 percent to 30,850 carloads. Metallic ores and metals increased to 19,348 carloads, or 0.8 percent.

Petroleum and petroleum products showed the largest decrease in the commodity groups, with a drop of 13.6 percent to 9,763 carloads. Grain declined by 8.5 percent to 20,477 carloads, and forest products dropped 7 percent to 9,614 carloads.

For the first six weeks of 2017, U.S. rail volume totaled 3,077,546 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 2 percent when compared to last year. Carloads, with a total of 1,520,237, were up 4.5 percent, and intermodal, with a total of 1,557,309, dropped by 0.4 percent.

On the 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads, combined North American rail volume for the week ending February 11, 2017, was 683,349 carloads and intermodal units, up by 2.9 percent.

For the first six weeks of 2017, North American rail volume was up 2.5 percent, with a total of 4,054,988 carloads and intermodal units.