Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Latest News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
AAR Reports Increased Rail Traffic for August 2014 and for the Week
Grain Monthly Carloads Up 16 Percent, Quarterly Crude Oil Also Up
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sept. 4, 2014 –The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported increased U.S. rail traffic for August 2014, with both carload and intermodal volume increasing compared with August 2013. U.S. railroads originated 1,212,287 carloads in August 2014, up 2.9 percent or 33,838 carloads compared with August 2013.  Total carloads averaged 303,072 per week in August 2014, which is the highest weekly average for any month since October 2011 and the highest for August since 2008. 
 
U.S. railroads also originated 1,075,688 containers and trailers in August 2014, up 4.3 percent or 44,520 carloads, compared with August 2013.The weekly average of 268,922 intermodal units in August 2014 was the second-highest weekly average ever, slightly behind June 2014.  
In August 2014, combined U.S. carload and intermodal volume was 2,287,975 units, up 3.5 percent or 78,358 units compared with August 2013. Average weekly volume was 571,994 carloads, containers, and trailers. 
 
“The rail industry has played and is continuing to play a critical role in the U.S. economy’s resurgence. In fact, average weekly U.S. rail volume, in terms of carloads plus intermodal containers and trailers, was higher in August 2014 than in any month since October 2007,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “The broad range of commodities that are seeing higher rail volumes is a welcome sign for the economy.”
 
The AAR also reported U.S. Class I railroads originated 119,634 carloads of crude oil in the second quarter of 2014, 8.6 percent more than the first quarter of 2014 and the most ever in any quarter.  In the first half of 2014, crude oil accounted for 1.6 percent of total originated carloads for U.S. Class I railroads. 

Fifteen of the 20 commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw year-over-year carload increases in August. Commodities with the biggest carload increases included petroleum and petroleum products, up 13,127 carloads, or 25.2 percent; crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 12,873 carloads, or 14.4 percent; and grain, up 10,655 carloads, or 16 percent. August was the tenth-straight double-digit year-over-year increase for grain. Weekly average grain carloads of 19,326 in August 2014 were the highest for August since 2010; year-to-date, grain originations were up 19.2 percent over last year.
 
Commodity categories with carload declines last month were led by coal, down 20,447 carloads or 4.2 percent. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were up 43,630 carloads, or 6.9 percent in August.
 
AAR today also reported increased rail traffic for the week ending August 30, 2014. U.S. railroads originated 305,751 carloads last week, up 1.3 percent compared with the same week last year, while intermodal volume for the week totaled 273,458 units, up 5.3 percent compared with the same week last year and the highest for any week in history.  Total U.S. rail traffic for the week was 579,209 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.1 percent compared with the same week last year.
 
Five of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked on a weekly basis posted increases compared with the same week in 2013, including petroleum products, with 16,404 carloads originated, up 21.2 percent; metallic ores and metals, with 30,222 carloads originated, up 15.7 percent; and, grain, with 19,474 carloads originated, up 12.8 percent.
 
For the first 35 weeks of 2014, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 10,132,392 carloads, up 3.6 percent from the same point last year, and 9,004,288 intermodal units, up 5.7 percent from last year. Total U.S. traffic for the first 35 weeks of 2014 was 19,136,680 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.6 percent from last year.
 
Canadian railroads indicated 84,974 carloads for the week, up 4.2 percent compared with the same week last year, and 63,880 intermodal units, up 13.1 percent compared with 2013 and the highest for any week in history. For the first 35 weeks of 2014, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,767,672 carloads, up 1.6 percent from the same point last year, and 1,990,884 intermodal units, up 7.2 percent from last year.
 
Mexican railroads reported 15,659 carloads for the week, down 6.6 percent compared with the same week last year, and 12,926 intermodal units, up 14.7 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 35 weeks of 2014 is 548,797 carloads, up 1.5 percent from the same point last year, and 361,723 intermodal units, up 4 percent.
 
Combined North American rail volume for the first 35 weeks of 2014 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 13,448,861 carloads, up 3.1 percent compared with the same point last year, and 11,356,895 trailers and containers, up 5.9 percent compared with last year.
 
 
###
 
For more information contact: Abigail Gardner, 202-464-6603, at AARMedia@skdknick.com, or Holly Arthur, harthur@aar.org, 202-639-2344.
 
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. Follow us on Twitter: AAR_FreightRail or Facebook: www.facebook.com/freightrail.