Weekly U.S. Rail Traffic Increases 2.4 Percent

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has reported that U.S. rail traffic for the week ending March 18, 2017, totaled 495,281 carloads and intermodal units, a 2.4 percent increase compared to the same week in 2016.

U.S. carloads, which totaled 246,465 for the week, were up by 4.6 percent compared to the same week last year. U.S. intermodal volume for the week totaled 248,816 units, an increase of 0.3 percent compared to 2016.

Four of the 10 carload commodity groups that are tracked by the AAR posted an increase for the week ending March 18, 2017, when compared with the same week in 2016. Coal saw an increase of 18.9 percent to 77,123 carloads, and grain was up 8.1 percent to 23,243 carloads. Nonmetallic minerals increased to 33,255 carloads, or 3.3 percent.

Motor vehicles and parts showed the largest decrease in the commodity groups, with a drop of 13.8 percent to 16,621 carloads. Petroleum and petroleum products declined by 9.3 percent to 9,655 carloads, and miscellaneous carloads dropped 5.9 percent to 9,237 carloads.

For the first 11 weeks of 2017, U.S. rail volume totaled 5,657,646 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 2.5 percent when compared to last year. Carloads, with a total of 2,803,485, were up by 4.9 percent, and intermodal, with a total of 2,854,161, increased by 0.2 percent.

On the 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads, combined North American rail volume for the week ending March 18, 2017, was 664,344 carloads and intermodal units, up by 4.3 percent.

For the first 11 weeks of 2017, North American rail volume was up 3.3 percent, with a total of 7,478,833 carloads and intermodal units.