Rail Traffic for the Week Ending March 27, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 31, 2021 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending March 27, 2021.

For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 521,731 carloads and intermodal units, up 16.1 percent compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ending March 27 were 232,561 carloads, up 6 percent compared with the same week in 2020, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 289,170 containers and trailers, up 25.8 percent compared to 2020.

Comparisons of the current week with the same week in 2020 are inflated because of the widespread economy-wide shutdowns — and subsequent large reduction in rail volumes — last year at this time.

Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2020. They included motor vehicles and parts, up 8,081 carloads, to 13,515; grain, up 2,320 carloads, to 24,532; and metallic ores and metals, up 1,145 carloads, to 22,020. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2020 were chemicals, down 656 carloads, to 32,053; petroleum and petroleum products, down 534 carloads, to 10,694; and miscellaneous carloads, down 201 carloads, to 9,341.

For the first 12 weeks of 2021, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,681,283 carloads, down 3.4 percent from the same point last year; and 3,333,798 intermodal units, up 11.9 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 12 weeks of 2021 was 6,015,081 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 4.5 percent compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ending March 27, 2021, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 337,683 carloads, up 4.8 percent compared with the same week last year, and 380,050 intermodal units, up 23.8 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 717,733 carloads and intermodal units, up 14.1 percent. North American rail volume for the first 12 weeks of 2021 was 8,271,302 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.3 percent compared with 2020.

Canadian railroads reported 83,857 carloads for the week, up 4.9 percent, and 74,756 intermodal units, up 22.2 percent compared with the same week in 2020. For the first 12 weeks of 2021, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 1,813,869 carloads, containers and trailers, up 6.2 percent.

Mexican railroads reported 21,265 carloads for the week, down 6.7 percent compared with the same week last year, and 16,124 intermodal units, up 0.8 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 12 weeks of 2021 was 442,352 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 5.5 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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