WASHINGTON — Intermodal strength continues to be the defining characteristic of U.S. rail traffic, according to the latest weekly statistics from the Association of American Railroads.
For the week ending Jan. 16, 2021, the total rail traffic of 528,547 carloads and intermodal units was up 5.8% over the corresponding week in 2020 — thanks to 295,997 containers and trailers, a 12.8% increase over the previous years. The 232,550 carloads moved represented a 2% decrease. Five carload groups showed increases, led by grain, up 42.6% at 27,613 carloads. Totals for the first two weeks of the year have overall traffic up 5.2%, intermodal up 11.6%, and carloads down 1.8%.
North American volume for the week, as reported by 12 U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads, totaled 340,423 carloads, up 4.2%, and 386,001 intermodal units, up 12.9%, for total volume of 726,433 carloads and intermodal units, up 8.6%. In Canada, carloads (86,133) were up 23.9% and intermodal units (74,486) were up 21.3%.