Posts Tagged ‘freight traffic’

Freight Traffic up 3.2% in May

June 7, 2018

Freight traffic rose 3.2 percent in May on U.S. railroads when compared to May 2017.

Statistics released this week by the Association of American Railroads showed that the railroads carried 1,319,420 carloads last month.

AAR said U.S. railroads originated 1,398,203 containers and trailers, up 6.6 percent. Combined carload and intermodal originations in May were 2,717,623, up 4.9 percent from May 2017.

Fifteen of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR posted gains in May. Crushed stone, sand and gravel gained 13.7 percent; chemicals, 6.1 percent, and coal, 1.7 percent.

Losing traffic share were nonmetallic minerals, 17 percent; metallic ores, 6.6 percent, and the general category of all other carloads, 6.9 percent.

“In May, U.S. rail carloads were higher in 15 of the 20 carload commodity categories the AAR tracks, including nearly all of the major ones,” said AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John T. Gray.

“In addition, intermodal volume in May was the second-highest for any month in history. Right now, the economy is clicking, and railroads are both beneficiaries and enablers of that.

“One potential cloud on the horizon, though, involves trade. Freight railroads are essential to the flow of goods and rely on sensible trade policy. We’re hopeful that federal policymakers will recognize that an unnecessary trade war would do far more harm than good.”

Total U.S. traffic for the first five months of 2018 was 5,666,645 carloads, up 1.2 percent on-year, and 5,993,584 intermodal units, up 6 percent.

Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 22 weeks of 2018 was 11,660,229 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 3.6 percent compared to 2017.

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Carload, Intermodal Traffic Up in December

January 5, 2018

U.S. Railroads posted increased carload and intermodal traffic in December.

The Association of American Railroads said that the railroads originated 998,168 carloads, up 2.5 percent, from December 2016, and 1,065,965 containers and trailers, up 5.3 percent. Combined carload and intermodal originations were 2,064,133, up 4 percent.

Rail traffic for all of 2017 on U.S. railroads increased 3.4 percent to 27,489,960 carloads and intermodal units compared with traffic figures for 2016.

Carload traffic for the year climbed 2.9 percent to 13,478,126 units in 2017, while intermodal traffic increased 3.9 percent to 14,011,834 units for the year compared with 2016.

“Rail traffic finished 2017 on a positive note,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “In December, total carloads were up for the first time in six months, and 14 of the 20 carload categories we track saw year-over-year gains – the most for any month in almost three years. Meanwhile, intermodal volume was up for the 11th straight month and set a new annual record, breaking the previous mark set in 2015.”

AAR said in a news release that during December commodities posting gains included crushed stone, sand and gravel, 23.1 percent; metallic ores, 35.2 percent; and chemicals, 3.5 percent.

Commodities that logged year-over-year decreases last month included grain, down 5,542 carloads or 6.1 percent; motor vehicles and parts, down 2,625 carloads or 4.1 percent; and nonmetallic minerals, down 1,424 carloads or 8.9 percent.

Excluding coal, carloads rose 3.6 percent in December 2017 compared with December 2016. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were up 28,832 carloads, or 5.2 percent.

“Rail traffic is a useful gauge of the state of the economy, and it shows that the economy’s momentum strengthened in the fourth quarter of 2017,” Gray said. “Coal, grain, and petroleum products are not nearly as GDP-dependent as most other categories of rail traffic. If you exclude them, U.S. rail carloads were up 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, their biggest quarterly percentage gain in more than three years.”

October Was Good Month for Intermodal Traffic

November 3, 2017

The Association of American Railroad reported this week that although carload traffic on U.S. railroads was down in October, intermodal traffic set a record.

In its monthly freight volume report, the AAR said that carload traffic last month declined 0.1 percent to 1,065,777 units, but the number of intermodal units rose 6.4 percent to 1,144,157 containers and trailers compared with October 2016 figures

In a news release, the AAR said that U.S. railroads moved 2,209,934 carload and intermodal units last month, a 3.1 percent year-over-year increase.

Excluding coal, carloads increased 16,544 carloads, or 2.3 percent, last month from October 2016’s level. Excluding coal and grain, carloads rose by 29,072 units, or 4.8 percent.

Twelve of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by AAR each month posted gains in October. They included metallic ores, up 4,076 carloads or 20.6 percent; crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 15,873 carloads or 16.5 percent; and chemicals, up 7,390 carloads or 6.4 percent.

Categories that posted decreases included grain, down 12,528 carloads or 11.8 percent; motor vehicles and parts, down 5,190 carloads or 7 percent; and coal, down 17,764 carloads or 4.9 percent.

On a year-over-year basis, U.S. carloads in October were held back by declines in grain and coal volumes, said AAR Senior Vice President John Gray.

“However, carloads of these commodities tend to rise or fall for reasons that have little to do with the state of the economy,” he said. “Excluding them, carloads were up 4.8 percent in October, their best monthly gain in almost three years. As such, rail carloads, as well as record intermodal volume in October, support the view that the economy is doing somewhat better now than it has been in the past two years.”

U.S. carloads through the first 10 months of 2017 totaled 11,172,437 units, up 3.4 percent, while intermodal volume totaled 11,576,709 units, up 3.7 percent compared with the same period last year.

Freight Traffic Rose 0.7% in September

October 10, 2017

The Association of American Railroads said that U.S. freight carload traffic fell 2.3 percent in September, but intermodal and container traffic posted a 3.8 percent gain.

The means that overall traffic during the month increased by 0.7 percent when compared with September 2016.

For the month, the railroads handled 1.08 million containers and trailers and 1.04 million freight carloads.

Among the commodity categories that AAR tracks, crushed stone, sand, and gravel, were up 8,845 carloads or 9.3 percent; primary metal products, were up 3,877 carloads or 11.8 percent; and metallic ores, were up 3,163 carloads or 13.6 percent.

Commodities posting decline included grain, down 16,329 carloads or 16.7 percent; petroleum and petroleum products, down 7,267 carloads or 17 percent; and motor vehicles and auto parts, down 7,203 carloads or 9.8 percent.

For 2017 to date, U.S. rail traffic is up 3.6 percent compared with where it was at this time last year.

For the year, freight carload traffic is up 3.8 percent while intermodal has risen by 3.5 percent.

May Rail Traffic up 6.4% AAR Says

June 9, 2017

Rail freight traffic continued to rise in May with U.S. railroads posting a 6.4 percent gain in carloads and intermodal units, the Association of American Railroads said.

Traffic during the month was 2,625,492 carloads and intermodal. The gain was over freight traffic in May 2016.

AAR said that the railroads originated 1,286,075 carloads in May, up 8.4 percent over May 2016 Intermodal container and trailer volume rose 4.6 percent to 1,339,417 units during May compared with a year ago.

“All things considered, May was a good month for rail traffic,” said AAR Senior Vice President John Gray in a news release. “Thirteen of the 20 commodity categories we track had higher carloads in May 2017 than in May 2016, including the four biggest categories — coal, chemicals, crushed stone and sand, and grain.”

Gray said that excluding coal, carloads increased 4.1 percent — the biggest monthly increase in more than two years. He said that May 2017 was “the best intermodal month of the year.

Eleven of the the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month posted gains. These included coal, up 19.6 percent or 64,059 carloads; grain, up 24.5 percent or 22,963 carloads; and crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 15.3 percent or 17,416 carloads.

Commodities that saw declines included petroleum and petroleum products, down 16.5 percent or 9,365 carloads; primary forest products, down 12.1 percent or 742 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, down 3.8 percent or 3,419 carload.

Excluding coal, carloads climbed 4.1 percent, or 35,231 carloads, in May 2017 over May 2016.

For the first five months of 2017, U.S. rail traffic has risen 3.9 percent to 8,787,083 carloads and intermodal units compared with the same period last year.

U.S. Rail Freight Traffic up 5.2% in April

May 5, 2017

U.S. rail freight grew in April, leading some analysts to ask if the rail freight traffic slump is over.

The railroads originated 1,023,300 carloads in April 2017, up 8.4 percent, or 78,949 carloads, over April 2016.

On the intermodal side, railroads originated 1,052,001 containers and trailers in April 2017, up 2.3 percent, or 23,448 units over 2016.

Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in April 2017 were 2,075,301, up 5.2 percent or 102,397 carloads and intermodal units over April 2016.

“U.S. grain car loadings during April 2017 were the highest since 2011, with rail grain deliveries to ports since the first of the year running 19 percent ahead of 2016,” said AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John T. Gray. “These agricultural exports improve our balance of trade and strengthen the farm economy.”

However, motor vehicle sales fell in April for the second straight month. Gray attributed that to financing companies tightening credit “following the satisfaction of the pent-up demand coming out of the 2009 recession.”

That led to a drop in rail shipments of motor vehicles and parts in April.

“We are hopeful that the upcoming summer buying season will clear dealer inventories and drive up demand for railroads to deliver new vehicles,” Gray said.

In April 2017, 10 of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with April 2016.

These included: coal, up 26.7 percent or 65,158 carloads; grain, up 18.7 percent or 14,612 carloads; and crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 12.9 percent or 11,777 carloads. Commodities that saw declines in April 2017 from April 2016 included petroleum and petroleum products, down 13.1 percent or 5,929 carloads; motor vehicles and parts, down 9.1 percent or 6,777 carloads; and metallic ores, down 8.4 percent or 2,083 carloads.

Excluding coal, carloads were up 2 percent, or 13,791 carloads, in April 2017, compared with April 2016.

Railroad Carload Traffic up 7.3% in March

April 7, 2017

Carload traffic grew by 7.3 percent in March when compared with the same month in 2016, the Association of American Railroads reported.

U.S. railroads moved 1,283,489 carloads in March, up 87,183 carloads from March 2016.

The carriers originated 1,298,173 containers and trailers, a gain of 3.8 percent, or 47,180 units, from a year ago.

Combined U.S. carload and intermodal in March were 2,581,662, up 5.5 percent or 134,363 carloads and intermodal units over March 2016.

Thirteen of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR saw gains led by coal, up 19 percent or 63,846 carloads; crushed stone, gravel, and sand, up 12.5 percent or 13,154 carloads, and grain, up 10.6 percent or 11,336 carloads.

Commodities that declined from March 2016 included motor vehicles and parts, down 5.3 percent or 4,999 carloads; petroleum and petroleum products, off 8.1 percent or 4,382 carloads, and chemicals, down 1.3 percent or 2,113 carloads.

Excluding coal, carloads gained 2.7 percent year-to-year.

“Railroading is not for the faint of heart, as markets are continually changing and railroads have to adapt to changing circumstances,” said AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John T. Gray in a statement. “Despite recent increases, in absolute terms rail coal volumes are much lower than they were even a few years ago, and rail crude oil volumes are roughly half what they were a couple of years ago. On the other hand, this was the best March ever for carloads of crushed stone, sand, and gravel, and it was the best March for grain since 2008.”

G&W Traffic Up 27% in January

February 16, 2017

The acquisition of the Providence & Worcester Railroad last year has helped Genesee & Wyoming railroads post a 27 percent overall traffic increase in January 2017 when compared with the same month in 2016.

G&WThe P&W acquisition was completed last November. G&W railroads handled more than 138,500 railcars in January 2017, an increase of 11 percent over the 124,400 railcars it handled in 2016.

G&W also reported increased traffic on other railroads due to increased shipments of coal, coke, agricultural products and minerals and stone traffic.

Its best performing commodity in January was coal and coke with its railroads carrying more than 22,400 carloads of coal in January 2017, compared with 18,400 carloads in the same month in 2016.

Coal Helps Drive January Freight Increase

February 3, 2017

Coal traffic helped drive an increase in U.S. railroad freight during January, the Association of American Railroads said on Thursday.

AARFor the month, carload traffic was 996,573 carloads, up 2.9 percent or 28,341 carloads from January 2016.

But intermodal traffic was down with railroads originating 1,021,068 containers and trailers, down 1.8 percent or 18,553 units from January 2016.

For January 2017, combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations were 2,017,641, up 0.5 percent or 9,788 carloads and intermodal units from January 2016.

Nine of the 20 carload commodities tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with January 2016.

Coal was up 11.9 percent or 35,798 carloads; grain was up 5.2 percent or 4,570 carloads; and waste and nonferrous scrap was up 20.9 percent or 2,546 carloads.

Falling in January were petroleum and petroleum products, down 19.5 percent or 9,751 carloads; chemicals, down 3.6 percent or 4,456 carloads; and stone, clay and glass products, down 10.9 percent or 2,904 carloads.

“January rail traffic paints a mixed picture, with some commodities exceeding expectations, while others remained flat or down,” said AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John T. Gray. “For most of last year, coal carloads were down sharply, but for the past couple of months, including January, they’ve been the major force behind rail carload gains. We can probably expect continued uncertainty in energy markets going forward, but we’re hopeful that improving macro-economic fundamentals will drive improvement in rail volumes for many commodity categories this year.”

R&N Posts 16% Carload Gain in 2016

February 3, 2017

Pennsylvania-based short line Reading & Northern posted a 16 percent increase in carload traffic for 2016, handling almost 20,000 carloads.

PennsylvaniaTourist operations accommodated more than 100,000 passengers, the second time in the railroad’s history that it has topped six figures.

In a statement, the R&N said that during 2016 it “had more employees, more track, more locomotives, more freight cars, more facilities and more customers than at any point in its history.”

R&N added 10 miles of new track and acquired the Humboldt Industrial Park in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, with more than three miles of new track construction.

In maintenance of way efforts, R&N installed more than 15,000 ties, replaced more than 20,000 linear feet of rail and built a dozen new turnouts.

The locomotive fleet increased by 20 percent with the acquisition of six four-axle locomotives. The freight car fleet grew 16 percent to 1,179 cars, an increase of 162.

More than a dozen new customers have come on line, most with the Humboldt acquisition, and 21 new employees joined the railroad, bringing the staff to more than 200.