Rail Traffic for the Week Ending August 14, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 18, 2021 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending August 14, 2021.

For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 504,810 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.9 percent compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ending August 14 were 235,011 carloads, up 5.7 percent compared with the same week in 2020, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 269,799 containers and trailers, down 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.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2020. They included coal, up 8,196 carloads, to 67,054; metallic ores and metals, up 5,676 carloads, to 24,678; and nonmetallic minerals, up 2,080 carloads, to 32,602. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2020 included grain, down 2,906 carloads, to 19,488; motor vehicles and parts, down 1,883 carloads, to 13,512; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 526 carloads, to 10,314.

For the first 32 weeks of 2021, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 7,376,542 carloads, up 8.9 percent from the same point last year; and 8,943,306 intermodal units, up 14 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 32 weeks of 2021 was 16,319,848 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 11.6 percent compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ending August 14, 2021, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 327,070 carloads, up 2.9 percent compared with the same week last year, and 360,049 intermodal units, down 1.5 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 687,119 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.6 percent. North American rail volume for the first 32 weeks of 2021 was 22,249,304 carloads and intermodal units, up 10.3 percent compared with 2020.

Canadian railroads reported 72,109 carloads for the week, down 2.3 percent, and 75,238 intermodal units, up 7.8 percent compared with the same week in 2020. For the first 32 weeks of 2021, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 4,751,539 carloads, containers and trailers, up 6.9 percent.

Mexican railroads reported 19,950 carloads for the week, down 7.7 percent compared with the same week last year, and 15,012 intermodal units, down 14.5 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 32 weeks of 2021 was 1,177,917 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 6.5 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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