Rail freight, including commodity and intermodal volumes, continued steady upward movement in the latest weekly data check.
The Association of American Railroads said U.S. rail traffic for the week ending July 21, 2018 was 553,024 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.9% compared with the same week in 2017.
Freight totaled 265,338 carloads, up 3.8%, while intermodal volume was 287,686 containers and trailers, up 5.9% on-year.
There were gains by eight of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked by AAR. They included grain, 16.5%; petroleum and petroleum products, 22.1%, and chemicals, 5.9%.
Coal, still the single largest commodity by carloads, fell 2.8%.
For the first 29 weeks of 2018, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 7,524,473 carloads, up 1.6%, and 7,973,779 intermodal units, up 6.2% from the same point a year ago. Total combined U.S. traffic was 15,498,252 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 3.9%.
North American rail volume for the week ending July 21 on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 367,733 carloads, up 4.3%, and 374,898 intermodal units, up 4.7%. Total combined weekly traffic was 742,631 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.5%. North American volume for the first 29 weeks was 20,890,754 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.6% on 2017.
Canadian railroads reported 80,302 carloads for the week, up 7.2%, and 69,249 intermodal units, up 2.9% on-year. For the first 29 weeks of 2018, Canadian railroads reported cumulative traffic of 4,282,727 carloads, containers and trailers, up 3.8%.
Mexican railroads reported 22,093 carloads for the week, down 0.5% from the same week in 2017, and 17,963 intermodal units, down 4.9%. Cumulative volume for the first 29 weeks was 1,109,775 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, with no comparative data available.