Weekly shipping-rail traffic down 8.2 percent from year ago

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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) recently published its latest weekly rail traffic report for the week ending Jan. 16.

The cumulative weekly rail traffic in the U.S. for this week totaled 506,433 intermodal units and carloads. This shows a decline of 8.2 percent when compared with the second week of January in 2015.

There were just 242,670 carloads for the same week, falling 16.6 percent compared with last year. The reports shows 263,763 trailers and containers for U.S. weekly intermodal figures, increasing 1.1 percent over 2015.

There were three carload commodity groups that showed a rise in volume over 2015: motor vehicles and parts (rising 2.8 percent, reaching 16,751 carloads), miscellaneous carloads (increasing 21.4 percent, at 8,437 carloads) and chemicals (rising 2.2 percent to 31,687 carloads).

In contrast, the remaining seven carload commodity groups showed declines compared with 2015, including metallic ores and metals (at 18,690 carloads, declining by 24.2 percent), coal (at 75,308 carloads, falling by 32.6 percent), and petroleum and related products (at 12,852 carloads, decreasing by 18.5 percent).

So far, there has been a total volume of 481,891 carloads for the first two weeks of this year. This, a decline of 15.1 percent compared with roughly the same two weeks in 2015. Intermodal units currently amount to 522,702, a 4.2 percent increase over last year.

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