Carloads outpace intermodal for the week

Written by Stuart Chirls, Senior Editor
BNSF railroad coal transportation

Photo: Tequask via Wikipedia

The Association of American Railroads said U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending March 24 was 526,521 carloads and intermodal units, up 1.4% from the same week in 2017.

Traffic totaled 265,756 carloads, up 2.5%, while intermodal volume was 260,765 containers and trailers, up 0.3%.

Six of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2017. They included coal, 10.1%; chemicals, 5.5%, and nonmetallic minerals, 1.9%. Commodity groups that decreased included motor vehicles and parts, 9.3%; miscellaneous carloads, 13.8%, and petroleum and petroleum products, 6.6%.

For the first 12 weeks of 2018, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,030,729 carloads, down 0.5% on-year, and 3,227,100 intermodal units, up 5.7%. Total combined traffic for the first 12 weeks of 2018 was 6,257,829 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 2.6%.

North American rail volume for the week on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 369,719 carloads, up 2.5%, and 347,774 intermodal units, up 2.3%. Total combined weekly traffic was 717,493 carloads and intermodal units, up 2.4%. North American volume for the first 12 weeks of 2018 was 8,429,626 carloads and intermodal units, up 2.4% from 2017.

Canadian railroads reported 82,618 carloads for the week, up 3%, and 70,986 intermodal units, up 13.5%. For the first 12 weeks, cumulative volume of 1,712,693 carloads, containers and trailers was up 2.4%.

Mexican railroads reported 21,345 carloads for the week, down 0.03%, and 16,023 intermodal units, off 8.3%. Cumulative volume for the first 12 weeks was 459,104 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 0.8% from the same point in 2017.

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