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AAR Reports Carload Declines, Intermodal Gains in Weekly Rail Traffic

July 16, 2010
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported a decline in rail traffic for the week ending July 10, 2010, with U.S. railroads originating 252,963 carloads, down 3.5 percent compared with the same week in 2009 and down 20.8 percent from 2008. The July 4 Independence Day holiday did not affect comparison weeks in 2008 or 2009. In order to offer a complete picture of the progress in rail traffic, AAR reports 2010 weekly rail traffic with comparison weeks in both 2009 and 2008.

Weekly intermodal traffic totaled 192,954 trailers and containers, up 9.1 percent from a year ago and down 16.8 percent compared with 2008. Compared with the same week in 2009, container volume increased 11.4 percent, and trailer volume sank 2.7 percent. Compared with the same week in 2008, container volume fell 10.2 percent and trailer volume dropped 41.9 percent.

Six of the 19 carload commodity groups increased from the comparable week in 2009, while all 19 groups posting decreases from 2008 numbers. For the comparable week in 2009, metallic ores, up 72.8 percent, and metals and metal products, up 42.4 percent, continued to post the most significant increases. For the comparable 2008 week, declines ranged from 46 percent for waste and scrap materials to 9.9 percent for coke.

Carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 5.7 percent from last year and 29.9 percent from 2008. In the West, carload volume was down 2.3 percent from last year and down 14.8 percent from two years ago.

For the first 27 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 7,591,926 carloads, up 7.4 percent from 2009, but down 13.2 percent from 2008, and 5,627,846 trailers or containers, up 12.8 percent from 2009, but down 6.6 percent from 2008.

Canadian railroads reported volume of 69,590 cars for the week, up 18.5 percent from last year, and 46,561 trailers or containers, up 24.3 percent from 2009. For the first 27 weeks of 2010, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,950,145 carloads, up 21.3 percent from last year, and 1,234,116 trailers or containers, up 14.2 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 11,136 cars, down 1.9 percent from the same week last year, and 4,626 trailers or containers, down 2.8 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 27 weeks of 2010 was reported as 371,592 carloads, up 22 percent from last year; and 174,343 trailers or containers, up 35.7 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 27 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 9,913,663 carloads, up 10.4 percent from last year, and 7,036,305 trailers and containers, up 13.5 percent from last year.

For more information, visit www.aar.org.