Carload Traffic Up, But Intermodal Down

U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Aug. 14 saw gains in carload volume but declines in intermodal volume.

Class 1 railroads during that week handled 504,810 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 0.9 percent compared with the same week in 2020.

Carload traffic was 235,011, a gain of 5.7 percent while intermodal traffic was 269,799 containers and trailers, a decline of 3 percent.

The Association of American Railroads said five of the 10 carload commodity groups it tracks posted an increase compared with the same point in 2020.

They included coal, up 8,196 carloads, to 67,054; metallic ores and metals, up 5,676 carloads, to 24,678; and nonmetallic minerals, up 2,080 carloads, to 32,602.

Losing ground were grain, down 2,906 carloads, to 19,488; motor vehicles and parts, down 1,883 carloads, to 13,512; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 526 carloads, to 10,314.

For the first 32 weeks of 2021, railroads reported cumulative volume of 7,376,542 carloads, increasing 8.9 percent compared with the same week in 2020; and 8,943,306 intermodal units, an increase of 14 percent.

Total combined traffic for the period was 16,319,848 carloads and intermodal units, an 11.6 percent gain over 2020.

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