US freight rail traffic

Every week, the AAR (Association of American Railroads) publishes the North American freight rail data for the previous week. The latest data is for the week ended January 7, 2017. During that week, US freight rail traffic (UNP) fell 11.4% to ~441,000 units from ~498,000 units in the week ended January 9, 2016.

If you want to compare this week’s freight volume data with the previous week, visit Market Realist at US Freight Rail Traffic Closed 52nd Week on a Positive Note.

Will 2017 Be a Turnaround Year for US Freight Rail Traffic?

In the week ended January 7, 2017, US carloads fell 7.7% at ~221,000 railcars from nearly 240,000 railcars in the first week of 2016. Intermodal volumes fell 14.9% to ~220,000 containers and trailers from 259,000 units during the same period of 2016.

AAR’s outlook for 2017

Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO of the Association of American Railroads, stated: “We remain focused on providing the best possible rail network for our customers and all Americans, and as a result, the freight rail industry will advocate for a simpler and fairer tax code to enhance US economic development, promote growth and reduce debt.

Hamberger added that “freight railroads will also push for a sustainable funding source that provides for aggressive investment in public infrastructure.”

Canadian and Mexican rail traffic

In the latest reported week, Canadian rail traffic (CNI) rose 1.9%. However, its intermodal traffic fell 12.6% in the week ended January 7, 2017. The carloads of Mexican railroads (KSU) fell 26.5% during the week ended January 7, 2017, while intermodal traffic fell 16.5%.

Investors interested in dividends ETFs can opt for the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG). All US Class I railroads (NSC) are part of the portfolio holding of VIG.

Continue to the next part for a look at Norfolk Southern’s carloads for the week ended January 7, 2017.

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