U.S. rail traffic sees significant intermodal increase for the week

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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AAR’s John Gray: “Railroads are well prepared to support a strong recovery whenever it occurs.”
David C. Lester

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending December 26, 2020.

For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 405,111 carloads and intermodal units, up 8.4 percent compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ending December 26 were 185,029 carloads, down 3.4 percent compared with the same week in 2019, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 220,082 containers and trailers, up 20.8 percent compared to 2019.

Four of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2019. They included grain, up 6,242 carloads, to 21,769; motor vehicles and parts, up 1,647 carloads, to 10,211; and miscellaneous carloads, up 997 carloads, to 6,647. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2019 included coal, down 9,611 carloads, to 50,742; metallic ores and metals, down 1,589 carloads, to 18,330; and chemicals, down 1,394 carloads, to 27,479.

For the first 52 weeks of 2020, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 11,279,815 carloads, down 13 percent from the same point last year; and 13,455,711 intermodal units, down 2 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 52 weeks of 2020 was 24,735,526 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 7.4 percent compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ending December 26, 2020, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 271,170 carloads, down 1.8 percent compared with the same week last year, and 288,897 intermodal units, up 16.8 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 560,067 carloads and intermodal units, up 7 percent. North American rail volume for the first 52 weeks of 2020 was 34,039,326 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.8 percent compared with 2019.

Canadian railroads reported 70,407 carloads for the week, down 0.8 percent, and 57,027 intermodal units, up 8.1 percent compared with the same week in 2019. For the first 52 weeks of 2020, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 7,505,256 carloads, containers and trailers, down 4.2 percent.

Mexican railroads reported 15,734 carloads for the week, up 14.1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 11,788 intermodal units, down 5.7 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 52 weeks of 2020 was 1,798,544 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 9.6 percent from the same point last year.

Categories: Freight, Intermodal, News, Railroad News
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