Rail traffic weaker so far in 2018

Written by Stuart Chirls, Senior Editor
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Photo: Roy Luck via Wikipedia

Chemicals and coal turned in carload increases for the week of March 10, but year-to-date volume failed to keep pace with the 2017 period, according to the Association of American Railroads.

United States rail traffic was 534,282 carloads and intermodal units, up 6.2% from the same week in 2017.

Carloads totaled 256,075 carloads, up 1.6%, while intermodal volume was 278,207 containers and trailers, up 10.8% from a year ago.

Six of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2017. They included coal, 5.2%; farm products excluding grain, and food, 5.2%, and chemicals, 6.8%

Motor vehicles led specific decliners at 8.6%, while other weakness was seen in grain, 5.2%, and miscellaneous carloads, 9.7%.

For the first 10 weeks of 2018, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,501,621 carloads, off 1.6%, and 2,692,349 intermodal units, better by 5.6% on-year. Total combined U.S. traffic was 5,193,970 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 2%.

North American rail volume for the week on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 357,748 carloads, up 1.9%, and 365,957 intermodal units, up 12.4%. Total combined traffic was 723,705 carloads and intermodal units, up 7%. Volume for the first 10 weeks was 6,987,229 carloads and intermodal units, up 1.8%.

Canadian railroads reported 79,844 carloads for the week, up 3.8%, and 69,402 intermodal units, up 19.9%. For the first 10 weeks of 2018, cumulative traffic volume of 1,411,060 carloads, containers and trailers rose 1.7%.

Mexican railroads hauled 21,829 carloads for the week, down 1.2%, and 18,348 intermodal units, up 11.5%. Volume on Mexican railroads for the first 10 weeks was 382,199 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 0.4%.

Categories: Class I, Freight, Intermodal Tags: ,