Rail Freight Down 2.6% Last Week

The Association of American Railroads said this week that for the week ending Oct. 9 weekly U.S. rail freight traffic was down 2.6 percent compared with the same week in 2020.

U.S. Class 1 railroads handled 506,642 carloads and intermodal units during the week.

The 239,821 carloads handled was a 4 percent increase over the same week last year but the 266,821 containers and trailers handled was a 7.8 percent decline.

AAR said six of the 10 carload commodity groups it tracks saw increases.

They included coal, up 5,736 carloads, to 67,680; metallic ores and metals, up 4,896 carloads, to 22,369; and nonmetallic minerals, up 2,606 carloads, to 33,087.

Losing ground were grain, down 3,483 carloads, to 24,037; motor vehicles and parts, down 3,047 carloads, to 13,058; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 837 carloads, to 9,395.

Railroad freight volume for the first 40 weeks of 2021 has been 9,249,460 carloads, an increase of 7.8 percent compared with the same period of 2020. Railroads have handled 11,078,929 intermodal units a gain of 9.4 percent.

The combined rail freight traffic for the period was 20,328,389 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 8.7 percent from last year.

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