Intermodal Boosts US Rail Traffic in Week 18
Week 18: US rail freight traffic
The AAR (Association of American Railroads) released its weekly rail freight data for 12 major North American railroads on May 9, covering the week ended May 5, or Week 18 of this year. US railroads’ overall rail traffic, including intermodal volumes, grew 7.5%.
In Week 18, these railroads hauled ~546,000 railcars, compared with ~508,000 in the corresponding week last year. Intermodal traffic’s 8.5% rise boosted railcar volumes, and carload volumes expanded 6.4% to ~265,600 railcars. In Week 18, intermodal units rose 8.5% YoY (year-over-year) to ~280,400 containers and trailers from ~258,400.
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Changes in carload commodity groups
In Week 18, nine of the ten carload commodity groups posted YoY increases. The commodity groups that rose the most included non-metallic minerals, coal (UNG), and grain. One commodity group—miscellaneous carloads—saw shipments fall YoY.
In the first 18 weeks of 2018, US rail transport companies (GWR) moved ~4.6 million carloads, reflecting a 0.9% rise YoY. Intermodal traffic rose 5.9% YoY to ~4.9 million units, and combined traffic grew 3.4% YoY to ~9.5 million.
Canadian and Mexican rail traffic in Week 18
In Week 18, Canadian rail carriers’ (CP) carload traffic increased 5.8% YoY to ~86,100 units, while intermodal volumes rose 7% YoY to ~71,700 units. Mexican railroad companies (KSU) moved ~19,600 carloads and ~15,000 intermodal units. In recent weeks, the AAR has discontinued reporting YoY changes in Mexican railroads’ (XTN) railcar traffic. In the next part, we’ll discuss BNSF Railway’s (BRK.B) traffic.