Intermodal Continues Driving Freight Traffic

Intermodal traffic continued to drive U.S. freight volume for the week ending Dec. 19.

The Association of American Railroads reported this week that railroads handled 520,305 carloads and intermodal units. which was up 2.5 percent compared with the same week in 2019.

Total carloads were 230,838, down 5.8 percent compared with the same 2019 period, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 289,467 containers and trailers, up 10.3 percent compared with 2019.

Two of the 10 carload commodity groups posted gains compared with 2019 period.

Grain was up 4,274 carloads to 25,860, while chemicals was up 879 carloads, to 33,276.

Commodity groups seeing declines included coal, down 9,907 carloads to 62,110; nonmetallic minerals, down 4,300 carloads to 25,840; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 2,416 carloads to 11,701.

For the first 51 weeks of 2020, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 11,094,786 carloads, a 13.2 percent decline from the same point last year; and 13,235,629 intermodal units, a 2.3 percent decrease from last year.

Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 51 weeks of 2020 was 24,330,415 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.6 percent compared with last year.

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