Rail Traffic Gained 2.2% Last Week

U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Feb. 6 continued to follow its pattern of gains in intermodal but overall declines in carload traffic.

The Association of American Railroads said the weekly rail traffic of 495,815 carloads and intermodal units was a 2.2 percent gain over the same week in 2020.

Total carloads were 226,393, down 2.5 percent compared with the same point in 2020, while intermodal volume was 269,422 containers and trailers, up 6.4 percent compared with last year.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups recorded gains. This included grain, up 5,070 carloads, to 25,951; chemicals, up 909 carloads, to 33,581; and farm products, excluding grain, and food, up 551 carloads, to 16,801.

Seeing declines were coal, down 4,936 carloads, to 60,071; nonmetallic minerals, down 3,530 carloads, to 24,821; and miscellaneous carloads, down 1,546 carloads, to 9,321.

For the first five weeks of 2021, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,156,696 carloads, falling 2.2 percent from the same point last year; and 1,442,642 intermodal units, a gain of 11 percent over last year.

Combined, U.S. traffic for the first five weeks of 2021 was 2,599,338 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 4.7 percent over 2020.

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