For week 6, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was virtually on par with the comparable week in 2020, according to the Association of American Railroads’ Feb. 17 report.
Traffic for the week ending Feb. 13 came in at 480,483 carloads and intermodal units, a 0.3% increase vs. the same week last year. Continuing the trend, the week’s intermodal volume of 269,063 containers and trailers was up 6.9%, lifting total traffic, as carloads of 211,420 were down 7%.
Four of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2020, including: grain, up 4,548 carloads, to 22,823; chemicals, up 785 carloads, to 33,255; and forest products, up 727 carloads, to 10,297. Commodity groups that posted decreases included: coal, down 8,554 carloads, to 54,496; nonmetallic minerals, down 5,450 carloads, to 22,933; and motor vehicles and parts, down 3,631 carloads, to 13,972.
For the first six weeks of 2021, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,368,116 carloads, falling 2.9% from the comparable period last year; and 1,711,705 intermodal units, rising 10.3% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic was 3,079,821 carloads and intermodal units, a 4% increase compared with 2020.
North American rail volume for the week ending Feb. 13, 2021, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 301,184 carloads, down 7.4% compared with the same week last year, and 351,190 intermodal units, up 7.8% compared with 2020. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 652,374 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.2%. Rail volume for the first six weeks of this year was 4,181,488 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.3% compared with 2020.
Canadian railroads reported 69,222 carloads for the week, down 8.4%, and 64,581 intermodal units, up 18.3% compared with the same week in 2020. For the first six weeks of this year, they reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 902,756 carloads, containers and trailers, up 5.4%.
Mexican railroads reported 20,542 carloads for the week ending Feb. 13, 2021, down 7.8% compared with the same week last year, and 17,546 intermodal units, down 9.7%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first six weeks of 2021 was 198,911 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 14.1% from the same point last year.