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September 08, 2017

U.S. railroads had best month in history for intermodal traffic

According to the Association of American Railroads (AAR), U.S. rail freight traffic totaled 1,343,405 carloads in August 2017, down 0.3 percent, or 4,571 carloads, from July 2016. U.S. railroads also originated 1,401,081 containers and trailers in August 2017, up 5.6 percent, or 73,790 units, the best month in history for intermodal traffic.

Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in August 2017 were 2,744,486, up 2.6 percent, or 69,219 carloads and intermodal units, from August 2016.

In August 2017, seven of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with August 2016. These included: coal, up 25,926 carloads or 5.8 percent; crushed stone, sand & gravel, up 14,506 carloads or 12.1 percent; and metallic ores, up 4,550 carloads or 16.1 percent.

Commodities that saw declines in August 2017 from August 2016 included: grain, down 24,565 carloads or 20.4 percent; motor vehicles & parts, down 10,321 carloads or 11.2 percent; and petroleum & petroleum products, down 8,362 carloads or 15.8 percent.

Source: AAR