Rail Freight Traffic Up 24.5% Last Week

Rail freight traffic for the week ending April 10 was up 24.5 percent over the same week in 2020 the Association of American Railroads reported.

Railroads handled 513,724 carloads and intermodal units for the week. That included 233,300 carloads, a 17.4 percent increase.

Intermodal volume was 280,424 containers and trailers, a 31.2 percent increase.

 “For some rail traffic categories, percentage changes for the current week compared with the same week in 2020 are inflated because of the widespread shutdowns—and subsequent large reduction in rail volumes—that impacted many economic sectors last year at this time,” AAR said in its report.

Nine of the 10 carload commodity groups saw gains compared with the same week in 2020.

These included motor vehicles and parts, up 9,854 carloads, to 12,044; coal, up 9,543 carloads, to 62,136; and chemicals, up 4,984 carloads, to 33,988. One commodity group posted a decline vs. the same week in 2020: nonmetallic minerals, down 271 carloads, to 31,319.

For the first 14 weeks of this year, railroads reported had a cumulative volume of 3,144,397 carloads, falling 1.3 percent from the same point last year; and 3,899,970 intermodal units, rising 14.3 percent from 2020.

Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 14 weeks was 7,044,367 carloads and intermodal units, a 6.8 percent increase.

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