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June 09, 2017

Railway freight traffic in the United States continued to rise in May

According to the Association of American Railroads (AAR), U.S. rail freight traffic in May totaled 1,286,075 carloads, up 8.4 percent, or 99,290 carloads, over May 2016. U.S. railroads also originated 1,339,417 containers and trailers in May 2017, up 4.6 percent, or 58,665 units, from the same month last year.

Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in May 2017 were 2,625,492, up 6.4 percent or 157,955 carloads and intermodal units over May 2016.

In May 2017, 11 of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with May 2016. These included: coal, up 19.6 percent or 64,059 carloads; grain, up 24.5 percent or 22,963 carloads; and crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 15.3 percent or 17,416 carloads. Commodities that saw declines in May 2017 from May 2016 included: petroleum and petroleum products, down 16.5 percent or 9,365 carloads; primary forest products, down 12.1 percent or 742 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, down 3.8 percent or 3,419 carload.

Excluding coal, carloads were up 4.1 percent, or 35,231 carloads, in May 2017 over May 2016.

Source: AAR