AAR: Coal leads weekly carload gainers

Written by Railway Age Staff
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Weekly gains in freight volume on U.S. railroads eased slightly, according to the Association of American Railroads.

For the week of June 24 U.S. rail traffic increased 3.6% to 544,694 carloads and intermodal units, from the same week in 2016. But that was down from a gain of 5.2% for the week of June 17.

AAR reported 263,504 total carloads, up 2.3%; intermodal volume was 281,190 containers and trailers, a gain of 4.9% compared to 2016.

Four of 10 commodity groups were higher on-year led by coal, 11.2% to 85,975 carloads; nonmetallic minerals, 10.4% to 39,632 carloads, and chemicals, 2.2% to 30,391 carloads.

Petroleum and petroleum products topped categories weaker from a year ago, by 16% to 9,789 carloads; motor vehicles and parts, 12.1% to 16,997 carloads, and metallic ores and metals, 8.5% to 22,522 carloads.

Through the first 25 weeks of 2017, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 6,429,100 carloads, ahead 6.6%; and 6,616,665 intermodal units, stronger by 2.6%. Total combined U.S. traffic in the period was 13,045,765 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.5% from 2016.

For the week ending June 24 North American volume on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 358,880 carloads, better by 3.9%, and 360,641 intermodal units, up 6.8%. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 719,521 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 5.3%. North American rail volume for the first 25 weeks of this year was 17,283,699 carloads and intermodal units, up 5.7%.

Canadian railroads reported 78,153 carloads for the week, up 12%, and 67,229 intermodal units, up 14.8% from the same week in 2016. For the first 25 weeks of 2017, cumulative rail traffic of 3,564,344 carloads, containers and trailers was ahead by 11.6%.

For the week, Mexican railroads reported 17,223 carloads, off 5%, and 12,222 intermodal units, better by 10.4%. Cumulative volume for the first 25 weeks of 2017 was 673,590 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, edging down 1.3%.

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