AAR: Intermodal outperforms carload traffic in weekly report

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Sept29Graph
Association of American Railroads
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Association of American Railroads
WASHINGTON — Intermodal traffic has outperformed freight carload traffic on U.S. railroads for the second consecutive week, but this time, intermodal traffic gains are more significant, the Association of American Railroads reports in its weekly traffic summary.

For the week ending Sept. 23, railroads handled 263,200 carloads, down 2 percent compared with the same week in 2016, while intermodal volume was 285,004 containers and trailers, up 5.1 percent compared to 2016.

Despite intermodal volume gains, five of the 10 carload commodities tracked by the AAR did post an increase last week. They included nonmetallic minerals, up 3,166 carloads, to 40,718 cars; metallic ores and metals, up 2,528 carloads, to 25,392 cars; and chemicals, up 487 carloads, to 30,669 cars.

Other commodities such as grain, coal, and petroleum were down. Railroads handled 5,517 fewer carloads of grain last week compared with the same week in 2016, while coal was down 3,120 carloads to 84,389 cars; and petroleum and petroleum products were down 1,189 carloads, to 9,188 cars for the same period.

While the past two weeks have reported slight dips in freight carload traffic, both freight and intermodal volume is still outperforming 2016’s traffic by 3.7 percent.
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