Rail Traffic for the Week Ending May 22, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 26, 2021 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending May 22, 2021.

For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 528,774 carloads and intermodal units, up 23.4 percent compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ending May 22 were 242,227 carloads, up 27.2 percent compared with the same week in 2020, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 286,547 containers and trailers, up 20.4 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.

All of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2020. They included coal, up 17,877 carloads, to 64,641; motor vehicles and parts, up 8,887 carloads, to 13,763; and metallic ores and metals, up 8,697 carloads, to 23,516.

For the first 20 weeks of 2021, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 4,583,989 carloads, up 6.2 percent from the same point last year; and 5,658,401 intermodal units, up 18.6 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 20 weeks of 2021 was 10,242,390 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 12.7 percent compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ending May 22, 2021, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 340,793 carloads, up 24.6 percent compared with the same week last year, and 378,724 intermodal units, up 20.4 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 719,517 carloads and intermodal units, up 22.4 percent. North American rail volume for the first 20 weeks of 2021 was 14,010,375 carloads and intermodal units, up 11.4 percent compared with 2020.

Canadian railroads reported 76,170 carloads for the week, up 16 percent, and 75,644 intermodal units, up 22.4 percent compared with the same week in 2020. For the first 20 weeks of 2021, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 3,035,544 carloads, containers and trailers, up 8.5 percent.

Mexican railroads reported 22,396 carloads for the week, up 28.8 percent compared with the same week last year, and 16,533 intermodal units, up 13.1 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 20 weeks of 2021 was 732,441 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 6.6 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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