Executive Briefings

U.S. Railroads Maintain Rail Traffic Gains During Holiday Week

For the week ending Nov. 27, 2010, U.S. freight railroads maintained traffic gains of 3.2 percent over the same week last year, originating 254,121 carloads, according to the Association of American Railroads. The comparison week from 2009 included the Thanksgiving Holiday. Intermodal traffic for the week totaled 183,790 trailers and containers, up 10.8 percent compared with the same week in 2009, with container volume up 11.7 percent and trailer volume up 6.1 percent.

After 47 weeks, all 19 carload commodity groups posted cumulative gains over last year. For the current week, 15 of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009. Commodities posting double-digit gains in loadings included: metallic ores, up 78.6 percent; coke, up 53.9 percent; metals, up 26.6 percent; and waste and scrap, up 14.5 percent.  Among commodities reporting declines were motor vehicles and equipment, down 28.4 percent; primary forest products, down 10.1 percent; and grain, down 9.8 percent.

Carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 6.1 percent compared with last year. In the West, carload volume was up 1.6 percent compared with the same week in 2009.

For the first 47 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 13,462,287 carloads, up 7.1 percent from last year, and 10,248,236 trailers or containers, up 14.3 percent from the comparison week in 2009.

Canadian railroads reported volume of 67,229 cars for the week, down 2.4 percent from last year, and 45,236 trailers or containers, up 7.6 percent from 2009. For the first 47 weeks of 2010, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,440,326 carloads, up 17 percent from last year, and 2,230,535 trailers or containers, up 15.5 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 14,779 cars, up 15.6 percent from the same week last year, and 8,290 trailers or containers, up 8.6 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 47 weeks of 2010 was reported as 646,787 carloads, up 19 percent from last year; and 321,224 trailers or containers, up 23.8 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 47 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 17,549,400 carloads, up 9.3 percent from last year, and 12,799,995 trailers and containers, up 14.8 percent from last year.

Note: AAR no longer reports 2010 weekly rail traffic with 2008 weekly comparison data since October 2008 marked the beginning of the recession-related downturn in rail traffic.

Source: Association of American Railroads

For the week ending Nov. 27, 2010, U.S. freight railroads maintained traffic gains of 3.2 percent over the same week last year, originating 254,121 carloads, according to the Association of American Railroads. The comparison week from 2009 included the Thanksgiving Holiday. Intermodal traffic for the week totaled 183,790 trailers and containers, up 10.8 percent compared with the same week in 2009, with container volume up 11.7 percent and trailer volume up 6.1 percent.

After 47 weeks, all 19 carload commodity groups posted cumulative gains over last year. For the current week, 15 of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009. Commodities posting double-digit gains in loadings included: metallic ores, up 78.6 percent; coke, up 53.9 percent; metals, up 26.6 percent; and waste and scrap, up 14.5 percent.  Among commodities reporting declines were motor vehicles and equipment, down 28.4 percent; primary forest products, down 10.1 percent; and grain, down 9.8 percent.

Carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 6.1 percent compared with last year. In the West, carload volume was up 1.6 percent compared with the same week in 2009.

For the first 47 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 13,462,287 carloads, up 7.1 percent from last year, and 10,248,236 trailers or containers, up 14.3 percent from the comparison week in 2009.

Canadian railroads reported volume of 67,229 cars for the week, down 2.4 percent from last year, and 45,236 trailers or containers, up 7.6 percent from 2009. For the first 47 weeks of 2010, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,440,326 carloads, up 17 percent from last year, and 2,230,535 trailers or containers, up 15.5 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 14,779 cars, up 15.6 percent from the same week last year, and 8,290 trailers or containers, up 8.6 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 47 weeks of 2010 was reported as 646,787 carloads, up 19 percent from last year; and 321,224 trailers or containers, up 23.8 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 47 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 17,549,400 carloads, up 9.3 percent from last year, and 12,799,995 trailers and containers, up 14.8 percent from last year.

Note: AAR no longer reports 2010 weekly rail traffic with 2008 weekly comparison data since October 2008 marked the beginning of the recession-related downturn in rail traffic.

Source: Association of American Railroads