The U.S. Class I railroads started the New Year in impressive fashion, as freight and intermodal traffic notched solid gains for the week ending January 5.
Data gathered by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) showed U.S. rail traffic was 436,103 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.8% from the same week in 2018.
Total volume was 221,759 carloads, up 6.2%, while intermodal shipments came to 214,344 containers and trailers, up 3.4% on-year.
Eight of the 10 carload commodity groups finished ahead, including crude oil, up 25% or 2,413 carloads, to 12,057; nonmetallic minerals, up 17.3% or 3,791 carloads, to 25,665, and metallic ores and metals, up 13.7% or 2,619 carloads, to 21,738.
Only motor vehicles, off 12% or 1,261 carloads, to 9,213, and miscellaneous carloads, 3.9%, or 294 carloads, to 7,251, declined.
North American volume for the week on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 313,358 carloads, up 7.5%, and 282,090 intermodal units, up 3.2%, from the prior year. Total combined traffic was 595,448 carloads and intermodal units, up 5.4%.
Canadian railroads reported 76,698 carloads for the week, up 14.5%, and 54,166 intermodal units, up 3.3%. Cumulative volume of 130,864 carloads, containers and trailers gained 9.6%.
Mexican railroads hauled 14,901 carloads for the week, down 5.8%, and 13,580 intermodal units, off 1.4%. Cumulative volume was 28,481 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 3.8% from the same week in 2018.