Down, down goes the freight traffic

Written by Carolina Worrell
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Freight traffic still shows no signs of growth in the week ending April 16, 2016, as carloads and intermodal units were both down nearly 13% and 7.5%, respectively, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported on April 20, 2016.

For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 499,779 carloads and intermodal units, down 10.1% compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ending April 16 were 240,462 carloads, down 12.9% compared with the same week in 2015, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 259,317 containers and trailers, down 7.4% compared to 2015.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2015. They included miscellaneous carloads, up 22.8% to 9,823 carloads; grain, up 14.3% to 20,784 carloads; and chemicals, up 3.4% to 32,355 carloads. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2015 included coal, down 36.5% to 63,090 carloads; petroleum and petroleum products, down 27.7% to 10,887 carloads; and forest products, down 7.5% to 9,963 carloads.

For the first 15 weeks of 2016, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,613,417 carloads, down 14.1% from the same point last year; and 3,848,344 intermodal units, up 0.2% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 15 weeks of 2016 was 7,461,761 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 7.3% compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ending April 16, 2016, on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 327,138 carloads, down 12.8% compared with the same week last year, and 329,899 intermodal units, down 6.7% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 657,037 carloads and intermodal units, down 9.8%. North American rail volume for the first 15 weeks of 2016 was 9,784,732 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.8% compared with 2015.

Canadian railroads reported 70,820 carloads for the week, down 13.7%, and 59,305 intermodal units, down 4.8% compared with the same week in 2015. For the first 15 weeks of 2016, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 1,926,716 carloads, containers and trailers, down 6.2%.

Mexican railroads reported 15,856 carloads for the week, down 5.6% compared with the same week last year, and 11,277 intermodal units, up 0.2%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 15 weeks of 2016 was 396,255 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 0.6% from the same point last year.

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