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Weekly rail traffic down from 2020 levels

By | September 10, 2021

Drop in intermodal traffic spurs decline in weekly volume

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Weekly table showing U.S. rail traffic by commodity type, as well as intermodal volume
Weekly table showing U.S. rail traffic by commodity type, as well as intermodal volume
(Association of American Railroads)

WASHINGTON — U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Sept. 4 fell compared to the same week in 2020, as well as the previous week in 2021.

Statistics from the Association of American Railroads show U.S. railroads originated a total of 494,415 carloads and intermodal units, a 3% decrease from the figure for the 35th week of 2020. It was also a 2% drop from the previous week, which saw total rail traffic of 504,417 carloads and intermodal units [see “August rail traffic falls …,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 2, 2021].

Intermodal traffic accounted for the decrease. Railroads moved 266,212 containers and trailers, a 7.3% drop compared to the corresponding week in 2020. The 228,203 carloads represented at 2.6% increase. Carload traffic was even or increased in eight of 10 categories, led by metallic ores and metals, up 29.2%. Showing considerable decreases were grain, down 27.1%, and motor vehicles and parts, down 23.7%.

Year-to-date volume remains well ahead of 2020 levels. Carloads are up 8.3% and intermodal units up 12.1% for a total increase of 10.3% and a weekly average of 509,142 carloads and intermodal units.

North American totals, for 12 U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads, include 320,047 carloads, up 0.4% over the same week in 2020, and 350,744 intermodal units, down 6.8%. Overall, the total volume of 670,791 carloads and intermodal units is a 3.5% increase. For the year to date, total North American rail traffic is up 9.25.

 

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