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July 10, 2018

Freight traffic on American railroads up 4.2 percent in June

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reports that U.S. railroads originated 1,080,769 carloads in June 2018, up 2.0 percent, or 21,098 carloads, from June 2017. U.S. railroads also originated 1,159,973 containers and trailers in June 2018, up 6.3 percent, or 68,689 units, from the same month last year.

Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in June 2018 were 2,240,742, up 4.2 percent, or 89,787 carloads and intermodal units from June 2017.

"Rail traffic in June was consistent with a healthy economy," said AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John T. Gray. "In June, 14 of the 20 commodity categories the AAR tracks each month saw carload gains - the third straight month in which at least 14 categories were up. That's the longest such streak since late 2014. Meanwhile, record intermodal volume for June speaks to the high value proposition that rail customers associate with intermodal service. For now, things are looking good for the railroads and the economy despite the many threats, such as a potential trade war, that could bring change quickly."

Excluding coal, carloads were up 30,494 carloads, or 4.3 percent, in June 2018 from June 2017. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were up 25,979 carloads, or 4.2 percent.

Total U.S. carload traffic for the first six months of 2018 was 6,747,414 carloads, up 1.3 percent, or 87,169 carloads, from the same period last year; and 7,153,557 intermodal units, up 6.0 percent, or 405,633 containers and trailers, from last year.

Source: AAR