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June 13, 2018

Freight traffic on American railroads up 4.9 percent in May

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reports that U.S. railroads originated 1,319,420 carloads in May 2018, up 3.2 percent, or 41,078 carloads, from May 2017. U.S. railroads also originated 1,398,203 containers and trailers in May 2018, up 6.6 percent, or 86,010 units, from the same month last year.

Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in May 2018 were 2,717,623, up 4.9 percent, or 127,088 carloads and intermodal units from May 2017.

"In May, U.S. rail carloads were higher in 15 of the 20 carload commodity categories the AAR tracks, including nearly all of the major ones," said AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John T. Gray. "In addition, intermodal volume in May was the second highest for any month in history."

Excluding coal, carloads were up 34,371 carloads, or 3.9 percent, in May 2018 from May 2017. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were up 31,198 carloads, or 4.1 percent.

Total U.S. carload traffic for the first five months of 2018 was 5,666,645 carloads, up 1.2 percent, or 66,071 carloads, from the same period last year; and 5,993,584 intermodal units, up 6 percent, or 336,944 containers and trailers, from last year.

Source: AAR