Rail Traffic Last Week Rose 4.1% Versus Same Timeframe in 2017

Rail traffic, a gauge of the overall economy, rose 4.1% in the seven days that ended on June 16 compared with the same week last year, according to the Association of American Railroads.

Total US rail traffic during the week totaled 558,098 carloads and intermodal units, the AAR said. Carloads rose 1.9% to 269,748 while intermodal volume jumped 6.3% from last year to 288,350 containers and trailers.

Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups increased versus the same week last year. Petroleum and products volume rose by 1,924 to 11,256 carloads, non-metallic mineral volume was up 1,827 to 39,994 and grain shipments rose by 1,407 carloads to 23,086 carloads, the association said.

Coal led decliners as cargoes fell 1,420 carloads from the same week a year earlier to 85,538. Shipments of miscellaneous items declined by 1,287 to 9,443 and motor vehicles and parts volume declined by 300 to 16,891 carloads, the AAR said.

Total carloads since the start of the calendar year rose 1.3% to 6.21 million, while intermodal volume is up 6% at 6.57 million trailers and containers, according to the report. Combined traffic in the first 24 weeks of the year was 12.8 million carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 3.6% versus the same timeframe a year earlier.

For all of North America, carload volume rose 2.4% from the same week in 2017 to 376,555 and intermodal cargoes gained 4.9% to 375,718. Combined traffic gained 3.7% year-over-year to 752,273 carloads and intermodal units, the AAR said. In the first 24 weeks of 2018, total volume is up 3.2% to 17.2 million.

Canadian railroads reported 84,254 carloads for the week, up 7% from last year,, and 69,872 intermodal units, up 3.1%. Since the start of the year, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 3.53 million carloads, containers and trailers, a 3.5% gain.

Mexican railroads reported 22,553 carloads for the week and 17,496 intermodal units. Cumulative volume in Mexico for the first 24 weeks of 2018 was 913,398 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, according to the AAR.

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