Officials with the Association of American Railroads (AAR) recently released a report about U.S. rail traffic rates from the week that ended on March 12, 2016.
During this week, U.S. weekly rail traffic amounted to 489,177 intermodal units and carloads. This shows an 11.6 percent decline compared to the same week in 2015. This week’s total carloads amounted to 243,275, which also shows a decline of 12.8 percent compared to the same week last year. Weekly intermodal volume reached 245,902 trailers and containers, making another decline of 10.3 percent compared to the same time period last year.
It is important to note that 2015’s intermodal volumes during this time period were unusually high. Experts attribute this to the resolved labor dispute that involved the ports on the West Coast.
Four out of the 10 carload commodity groups reported a rise over the same time period last year. These four include motor vehicles and parts (rising 15.7 percent at 20,104 carloads), miscellaneous carloads (increasing 19.7 percent at 9,448 carloads), and chemicals (climbing 4.7 percent to 31,529 carloads).
The remaining six commodity groups reported declines compared to the same time period last year. These six include petroleum and its related products (falling 13.1 percent at 11,067 carloads), coal (decreasing 34.1 percent to 71,221 carloads), and metals and metallic ores (reducing by 7.1 percent to 19,285 carloads).