Thursday, July 20, 2017

Containers and trailers fuel modest overall midsummer gains for US carloads

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Intermodal shipments sparked U.S. rail traffic for the week ending July 15 as freight totaled 540,005 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.8% compared to the prior-year period.
Traffic totaled 262,869 carloads, up 0.3%, while intermodal volume was 277,136 containers and trailers, up 7.4%, according to the Association of American Railroads.

Five of 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase on-year, including nonmetallic minerals, 14.3% to 40,764 carloads; farm products excluding grain, and food, 4.1% to 16,567 carloads, and forest products, 3.2% to 10,205 carloads.

Decliners included petroleum and petroleum products, 16.8% to 9,337 carloads; motor vehicles and parts, 12.5% to 12,299 carloads, and grain, 10.9% to 22,802 carloads.

For the first 28 weeks of 2017, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 7,191,823 carloads, up 6.0% from the year-ago period, and 7,393,388 intermodal units, up 2.9%. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 28 weeks of 2017 was 14,585,211 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 4.4%.

North American rail volume for the week on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 354,240 carloads, up 2.3%, and 355,958 intermodal units, up 8.5%. Total combined traffic was 710,198 carloads and intermodal units, up 5.3%. North American rail volume for the first 28 weeks of this year was 19,325,658 carloads and intermodal units, up 5.6% from the same period in 2016.

Canadian railroads reported 75,047 carloads for the week, up 10.7%, and 67,033 intermodal units, up 13.7%. For the first 28 weeks of this year Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 3,985,562 carloads, containers and trailers, up 11.6%.

Mexican railroads reported 16,324 carloads for the week, down 0.9%, and 11,789 intermodal units, up 7%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 28 weeks of 2017 was 754,885 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, off 1.4%.