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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S., Canadian rail traffic down, Mexican traffic up slightly in week 19

U.S. railroads posted 498,379 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending May 14, a 9.2 percent decline from the same week a year ago, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) announced yesterday.

Total carloads for the week fell 11.4 percent to 238,353 carloads, while intermodal volume declined 7.2 percent to 260,026 containers and trailers compared with the same week in 2015.

Among commodity groups, coal — down 30.8 percent to 64,800 carloads —led the pack of those that declined. Other commodities that logged decreases were petroleum and petroleum products, down 19 percent to 11,727 carloads; and grain, down 8.5 percent to 18,373 carloads.

Only four of the 10 commodity groups posted increases during the week. They included miscellaneous carloads, up 11.8 percent to 9,646 carloads; metallic ores and metals, up 5.5 percent to 23,881 carloads; and nonmetallic minerals, up 4.8 percent to 35,702 carloads.

For the first 19 weeks of 2016, U.S. railroads' total combined traffic came in at 9,447,054 carloads and intermodal units, down 8 percent compared with the same period last year.

Canadian railroads' carload traffic for the week tumbled 18.6 percent to 64,651 carloads, while intermodal traffic declined 9.6 percent to 57,876 units compared with last year's traffic. For the first 19 weeks of 2016, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 2,436,211 carloads, containers and trailers, down 7.3 percent.
Mexican railroads logged increases in both categories for the week: Carload traffic edged up 0.7 percent to 16,831 carloads and intermodal traffic rose 1.5 percent 11,829 intermodal units compared with a year ago. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads slipped just 0.2 percent to 507,071 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers for the first 19 weeks of the compared with same period in 2015.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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