AAR: U.S. freight-rail volume down 16.1 percent in April

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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) said recently that U.S. rail-freight volume fell by approximately 16.1 percent compared with the same week in 2015.

 The AAR also said five carload-commodity categories out of 20 saw gains that included miscellaneous freight and chemicals. Those that reported decreases included petroleum and related products, coal and grain-mill products.

Coal saw the largest decrease in volume, down 39.7 percent compared with 2015. AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John Gray said this can be attributed to lower natural gas prices and higher coal stockpiles.

Freight-rail traffic in April totaled 944,339 carloads down 16.1 percent, or 180,598, from April 2015. U.S. railroads also carried 1,028,460 intermodal units (containers and trailers) in April 2016, down 7.5 percent, or 83,729 units, from April 2015. For April 2016, U.S. carload and intermodal originations totaled 1,972,829, down 11.8 percent, or 264,327 carloads and intermodal units, from April 2015.


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