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AAR Reports Weekly Rail Traffic Remains Steady

June 11, 2010
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reports that U.S. railroads originated 270,251 carloads for the week ending June 5, 2010, up 4 percent compared with the same week in 2009, but down 16.4 percent from 2008. Unlike the comparison weeks from 2008 and 2009, Week 22 of 2010 included the Memorial Day holiday. In order to offer a complete picture of the progress in rail traffic, AAR now reports 2010 weekly rail traffic with comparison weeks in both 2009 and 2008.

Intermodal traffic totaled 191,758 trailers and containers, up 1.6 percent from a year ago, but down 18.9 percent compared with 2008. Compared with the same week in 2009, container volume increased 4.5 percent and trailer volume fell 13 percent. Compared with the same week in 2008, container volume decreased 11.5 percent and trailer volume dropped 45.8 percent.

Ten of the 19 carload commodities increased from the comparable week in 2009, with metallic ores, up 208 percent, and metals and metal products, up 69.8 percent, posting the most significant gains. Only one commodity group – the “all other carloads” category – posted an increase over 2008 levels.

Carload volume on Eastern railroads was up 4.9 percent from last year, but down 20.2 percent from 2008. In the West, carload volume was up 3.4 percent from last year but down 13.7 percent from two years ago.

For the first 22 weeks of 2010, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 6,193,584 carloads, up 7 percent from 2009, but down 13.7 percent from 2008, and 4,525,317 trailers or containers, up 11 percent from 2009, but down 7.8 percent from 2008.

Canadian railroads reported volume of 70,921 cars for the week, up 25.5 percent from last year, and 49,272 trailers or containers, up 25.4 percent from 2009. For the first 22 weeks of 2010, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,593,259 carloads, up 21.2 percent from last year, and 992,451 trailers or containers, up 11.8 percent from last year.

Mexican railroads reported originated volume of 14,840 cars, up 25.3 percent from the same week last year, and 6,702 trailers or containers, up 51.3 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 22 weeks of 2010 was reported as 298,527 carloads, up 22.7 percent from last year; and 142,106 trailers or containers, up 35.4 percent.

Combined North American rail volume for the first 22 weeks of 2010 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads totaled 8,085,370 carloads, up 10.1 percent from last year, and 5,659,874 trailers and containers, up 11.7 percent from last year.