The Association of American Railroads (AAR) recently issued freight-rail traffic data for the week ending on May 14, during which freight volume totaled 498,379 carloads and intermodal units, down 9.2 percent compared with this week a year ago.
Carloads totaled 238,353, with intermodal volume at 260,026, decreases of 11.4 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively, compared with a year ago. Four commodity categories of carloads saw increased activity, including metals and metallic ores, non-metallic minerals and miscellaneous items.
Significant decreases were reported for coal, down 30.8 percent, and petroleum and related products, down 19 percent. According to AAR, this trend is in line for what has been reported since the beginning of 2016. So far this year, carload volume is down 14.2 percent, and intermodal units are down 1.4 percent through May 14.
Total combined U.S. rail-freight volume this year through May 14 was 9,447,054 carloads and intermodal units, down 8 percent compared with this time period last year.
When rail loads from Canada and Mexico are factored in, carload volume is down 12.4 percent, and intermodal units are down 7.3 percent for the week ended May 14, compared with this week a year ago.