Rail Traffic for the Week Ending July 17, 2021

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

For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 513,255 carloads and intermodal units, up 6.6 percent compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ending July 17 were 235,303 carloads, up 9.7 percent compared with the same week in 2020, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 277,952 containers and trailers, up 4.1 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 13,057 carloads, to 69,186; metallic ores and metals, up 7,207 carloads, to 22,975; and chemicals, up 2,785 carloads, to 32,784. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2020 included motor vehicles and parts, down 1,750 carloads, to 12,049; grain, down 1,384 carloads, to 20,964; and farm products excl. grain, and food, down 175 carloads, to 15,593.

For the first 28 weeks of 2021, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 6,448,125 carloads, up 9.3 percent from the same point last year; and 7,851,547 intermodal units, up 16.3 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 28 weeks of 2021 was 14,299,672 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 13 percent compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ending July 17, 2021, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 325,978 carloads, up 6.7 percent compared with the same week last year, and 358,333 intermodal units, up 2.7 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 684,311 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.6 percent. North American rail volume for the first 28 weeks of 2021 was 19,493,039 carloads and intermodal units, up 11.4 percent compared with 2020.

Canadian railroads reported 70,017 carloads for the week, down 3.5 percent, and 63,748 intermodal units, down 5.7 percent compared with the same week in 2020. For the first 28 weeks of 2021, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 4,171,704 carloads, containers and trailers, up 7.6 percent.

Mexican railroads reported 20,658 carloads for the week, up 13.2 percent compared with the same week last year, and 16,633 intermodal units, up 15.7 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 28 weeks of 2021 was 1,021,663 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 6.1 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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