uploads///US Weekly Freight

US Freight Rail Traffic Was a Mixed Bag in Week 30

Samuel Prince - Author

Dec. 4 2020, Updated 10:43 a.m. ET

US freight rail traffic

In this weekly freight rail traffic series, we’ll look at the data for the week ended July 29, 2017, or week 30. The Association of American Railroads (or AAR) publishes North American rail freight (UNP) data every week. The total freight traffic including intermodal in the US rose 2.5% to 550,000 plus units in the reported week of 2017 from ~537,000 units in the week ended July 30, 2016.

If we exclude intermodal traffic, the railcar volumes in the US dipped 1.5% to 270,000 railcars compared with slightly over 274,000 railcars in week 30 of 2016. Some respite was offered by the expanded intermodal traffic, which rose 6.8%. US intermodal volumes were 280,000 plus containers and trailers in the 30th week of 2017 compared with 262,500 units in the same week last year.

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Cumulative volumes until week 30

The US freight rail traffic (XLI) recorded cumulative volume of ~7.7 million carloads, up 5.4% compared with the same week last year. These railroads posted a 3.1% rise in intermodal units totaling ~7.9 million for the first 30 weeks of 2017 compared with the same period last year.

The total freight volumes in the US for the first 30 weeks of 2017 were ~15.6 million railcars and intermodal units, up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis.

Canadian and Mexican railroads’ volumes

Now, we’ll turn to Canadian railroads’ (CNI) railcar volumes in the week ended July 29, 2017. These railroads reported an 8.4% rise in railcars to ~78,000 in the 30th week of 2017. The intermodal volumes exhibited a robust double-digit growth of 15% in intermodal volumes. Week 30 was the best in 2017 for Canadian intermodal traffic.

Mexican railroads (KSU) witnessed a 3.7% gain in its railcar volumes to 16,000 railcars in the reported week of 2017. These railroads’ intermodal volumes recorded a staggering 73% rise in volumes to 11,000 units in the week ended July 29, 2017.

Investors who want more insight into the trends in US weekly freight rail data can visit Market Realist’s Week 28 on the Rail: North American Freight Traffic Report.

Let’s look into Norfolk Southern’s (NSC) freight data in the 30th week of 2017.


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