US Rail Freight Traffic Continued Its Upward Momentum in Week 42
US rail freight traffic
The Association of American Railroads (or AAR) released its weekly North American rail freight (BRK-B) data for the week ended October 21, 2017, or week 42. During that week, the total US rail freight traffic, including intermodal volumes, expanded 3% to 560,000 units compared with more than 544,000 units in the week ended October 22, 2016.
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In the 42nd week of 2017, US carloads traffic grew 0.2% to ~269,000 units compared with ~268,500 railcars in the corresponding week in 2016. The US railroads’ intermodal units are expressed in trailers and containers.
Intermodal volumes rose 5.6% on a year-over-year basis, touching slightly more than 291,000 units in the 42nd week, compared with nearly 276,000 units in the same week of 2016.
Volume data for the first 42 weeks
For the first 42 weeks of 2017, US rail carriers (XLI) registered ~10.9 million railcars, up 3.6% on a year-over-year basis. These railroads’ intermodal traffic totaled ~11.3 million units, up 3.7% compared with the same period in 2016.
Combined, US rail freight traffic for the first 42 weeks in 2017 totaled 22.2 million carloads and intermodal units, reflecting a 3.7% rise compared with last year’s first 42 weeks.
Canadian and Mexican railroad volumes
In week 42 of 2017, Canadian railroads (CP) (CNI) reported a 5.9% rise in railcars volumes, totaling ~83,000 units compared with the levels in week 42 of 2016. These railroads’ intermodal volumes totaled ~70,500 trailers and containers, indicating a double-digit 15.4% rise on a year-over-year basis.
The railcar volume of Mexican railroads totaled more than 16,000 carloads for the reported week, up 8.7% compared with week 42 of 2016. Their intermodal traffic rose 13.6% to ~13,000 units in the week ended October 21, 2017.
Next, we’ll discuss Norfolk Southern’s (NSC) freight volumes in week 42.