Rail Traffic for the Week Ending April 17, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 21, 2021 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending April 17, 2021.

For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 533,217 carloads and intermodal units, up 32.2 percent compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ending April 17 were 237,607 carloads, up 25.2 percent compared with the same week in 2020, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 295,610 containers and trailers, up 38.3 percent compared to 2020.

For some rail traffic categories, percentage changes for the current week compared with the same week in 2020 are inflated because of the widespread shutdowns — and subsequent large reduction in rail volumes — that impacted many economic sectors last year at this time.

Nine of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2020. They included coal, up 13,166 carloads, to 61,600; motor vehicles and parts, up 10,606 carloads, to 12,549; and metallic ores and metals, up 7,533 carloads, to 24,803. One commodity group posted a decrease compared with the same week in 2020: petroleum and petroleum products, down 120 carloads, to 10,829.

For the first 15 weeks of 2021, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,382,004 carloads, up 0.2 percent from the same point last year; and 4,195,580 intermodal units, up 15.7 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 15 weeks of 2021 was 7,577,584 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 8.2 percent compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ending April 17, 2021, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 341,017 carloads, up 23.2 percent compared with the same week last year, and 384,527 intermodal units, up 32.5 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 725,544 carloads and intermodal units, up 28 percent. North American rail volume for the first 15 weeks of 2021 was 10,389,949 carloads and intermodal units, up 7.4 percent compared with 2020.

Canadian railroads reported 82,929 carloads for the week, up 14.2 percent, and 71,720 intermodal units, up 10.4 percent compared with the same week in 2020. For the first 15 weeks of 2021, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 2,275,481 carloads, containers and trailers, up 7.2 percent.

Mexican railroads reported 20,481 carloads for the week, up 41.6 percent compared with the same week last year, and 17,197 intermodal units, up 49.3 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 15 weeks of 2021 was 536,884 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 1.6 percent from the same point last year.

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For more information contact: AAR Media Relations at [email protected] or 202-639-2345.

About AAR: The Association of American Railroads (AAR) is the world’s leading railroad policy, research and technology organization focusing on the safety and productivity of rail carriers. AAR members include the major freight railroads of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak. Learn more at www.aar.org.

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