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U.S. rail traffic continues to show intermodal decrease

By | September 16, 2021

Weekly intermodal traffic drops 6% from previous-year figures; year-to-date traffic remains up

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Weekly table showing U.S. rail traffic by category
Weekly table showing U.S. rail traffic by category
(Association of American Railroads)

WASHINGTON — Lagging intermodal traffic again dropped weekly U.S. rail traffic figures below 2020 levels, according to the latest statistics from the Association of American Railroads.

Figures for the week ending Sept. 11 saw U.S. railroads move a total of 468,610 carloads and intermodal units, a 1.3% decrease from the corresponding week in 2020. It also represented a 5.2% decrease from the 494,415 carloads and intermodal units of the previous week in 2021.

Figures for the week included 223,710 carloads, a 4.5% increase over the same week in 2020, and 244,900 containers and trailers, a 6% decrease.

Through 36 weeks of 2021, overall traffic remains 10% ahead of 2020, with weekly traffic averaging 508,016 carloads and intermodal units. Carloads are up 8.2% while intermodal traffic shows an 11.5% increase.

North American totals for the week, for 12 reporting U.S, Canadian, and Mexican railroads, saw overall traffic of 637,926 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.7% from the same week in 2020. The 316,174 carloads represent a 2.4% increase, while the 321,752 intermodal units are a 7.3% decrease.

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