Rail Freight Traffic Up 9% Last Week

The Association of American Railroads reported that for the week ending Jan. 27 intermodal traffic rose nearly 19 percent compared with the same period in 2020. Carload traffic, though, fell.

For the week railroads saw an increase of 9 percent with 529,030 carloads and intermodal units handled.

While intermodal gained 17.8 percent for 298,051 units last week compared to the same week in 2020, carload traffic fell 0.7 percent to 230,979.

Of the 10 carload commodity groups, five posted an increase.

This included grain, up 5,481 carloads, to 27,295; chemicals, up 846 carloads, to 32,140; and forest products, up 603 carloads, to 10,192.

Posting declines were coal, down 4,949 carloads, to 63,474; nonmetallic minerals, down 2,672 carloads, to 25,233; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 1,139 carloads, to 12,522.

For the first three weeks of 2021, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 698,933 carloads, declining 1.4 percent from the week last year; and 883,897 intermodal units, increasing 13.6  percent from 2020.

Total combined U.S. traffic for the first three weeks of the year was 1,582,830 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 6.5 percent compared with last year.

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