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AAR Reports Steady Growth in Weekly Carload and Intermodal Traffic

March 28, 2011
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported rail traffic gains for the week ending March 19, 2011, with U.S. railroads originating 293,772 carloads, up 2.3 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week was also up, totaling 222,788 trailers and containers, up 10.7 percent compared with the same week in 2010.

Twelve of the 20 carload commodity groups posted increases from the comparable week in 2010. Those groups posting significant increases included: metallic ores, up 93.5 percent; petroleum products, up 12.9 percent; motor vehicles and equipment, up 12.2 percent, and pulp, paper and allied products, up 11.2 percent. The commodity groups reporting a notable drop in weekly traffic were waste and nonferrous scrap, down 14 percent and primary forest products, down 10.1 percent.

Weekly carload volume on Eastern railroads was down 0.5 percent compared with last year. In the West, weekly carload volume was up 4.2 percent compared with the same week in 2010.

For the first 11 weeks of 2011, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,168,141 carloads, up 5.3 percent from last year, and 2,398,885 trailers and containers, up 8.1 percent from the same point in 2010.

Canadian railroads reported 75,199 carloads for the week, up 1.1 percent from last year, and 46,462 trailers and containers, up 3.4 percent from 2010. For the first 11 weeks of 2011, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 776,832 carloads, down 1.4 percent from the same point last year, and 495,521 trailers and containers, up 3.2 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported 14,846 carloads for the week, up 17.4 percent compared with the same week last year, and 6,753 trailers and containers, up 14.3 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 11 weeks of 2011 was 158,809 carloads, up 7.3 percent compared with the same point last year, and 78,283 trailers and containers, up 9 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 11 weeks of 2011 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 4,103,782 carloads, up 4.1 percent compared with the same point last year, and 2,972,689 trailers and containers, up 7.2 percent compared with last year.

For more information, visit www.aar.org.