With intermodal still strong, 2021 rail traffic begins on an up note

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WASHINGTON — Thanks to the ongoing strength of intermodal traffic, U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Jan. 9 was up 4.7% over the comparable week a year earlier.

The latest statistics from the Association of American Railroads show 525,253 carload and intermodal units moved for the week. The 235,404 carloads represented a 1.6% decrease over year-earlier totals, while the 289,849 containers and trailers are an increase of 10.4%. Four of 10 carload groups showed increases ‚ led by a 51.4% in grain traffic, while a 22% decrease in petroleum and petroleum products was the biggest drop among carload groups.

North American traffic, for 12 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads, saw 330,520 carloads, down 2.5% from 2020, and 378,856 intermodal units, up 8.3%. The total of 709,376 carloads and intermodal units represent a 3% increase.

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