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WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 6, 2016 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported weekly U.S. rail traffic, as well as volumes for March 2016.
Carload traffic in March totaled 1,196,167 carloads, down 14.2 percent or 198,737 from March 2015. U.S. railroads also originated 1,250,925 containers and trailers in March 2016, down 7.7 percent or 104,343 units from the same month last year. For March 2016, combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations were 2,447,092, down 11 percent or 303,080 carloads and intermodal units from March 2015.
In March 2016, seven of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with March 2015. These included: chemicals, up 5.5 percent or 8,439 carloads; miscellaneous carloads, up 24.8 percent or 5,925 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, up 5.2 percent or 4,690 carloads. Commodities that saw declines in March 2016 from March 2015 included: coal, down 35.9 percent or 188,250 carloads; petroleum and petroleum products, down 22.4 percent or 15,524 carloads; and metallic ores, down 27.1 percent or 7,281 carloads.
Excluding coal, carloads were down 1.2 percent or 10,487 carloads from March 2015.
Total U.S. carload traffic for the first quarter of 2016 was 3,143,251 carloads, down 13.8 percent or 501,616 carloads, while intermodal containers and trailers were 3,339,672 units, up 1.5 percent or 49,958 containers and trailers when compared to the same period in 2015. For the first quarter of 2016, total rail traffic volume in the United States was 6,482,923 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.5 percent or 451,658 carloads and intermodal units from the same point last year.
"Railroads are still looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, and for some commodities, including coal and other energy-related products, it's just not there yet," said AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John T. Gray. "That said, most economist are calling for continued slow but steady economic growth for the U.S. in the months ahead. Railroads stand ready to provide the freight transportation service the economy will require."
Week Ending April 2, 2016
Total U.S. weekly rail traffic for the week ending April 2, 2016 was 491,979 carloads and intermodal units, down 10.4 percent compared with the same week last year.
Total carloads for the week ending April 2 were 238,138 carloads, down 14.3 percent compared with the same week in 2015, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 253,841 containers and trailers, down 6.4 percent compared to 2015.
Three of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2015. They included miscellaneous carloads, up 20.2 percent to 9,324 carloads; chemicals, up 12.1 percent to 34,131 carloads; and grain, up 4.3 percent to 21,761 carloads. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2015 were coal, down 39.2 percent to 62,256 carloads; petroleum and petroleum products, down 24.6 percent to 10,670 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, down 3.2 percent to 17,330 carloads.
For the first 13 weeks of 2016, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,143,251 carloads, down 13.8 percent from the same point last year; and 3,339,672 intermodal units, up 1.5 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 13 weeks of 2016 was 6,482,923 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 6.5 percent compared to last year.
North American rail volume for the week ending April 2, 2016, on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 326,698 carloads, down 11.8 percent compared with the same week last year, and 319,806 intermodal units, down 6 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 646,504 carloads and intermodal units, down 9 percent. North American rail volume for the first 13 weeks of 2016 was 8,494,620 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.1 percent compared with 2015.
Canadian railroads reported 72,554 carloads for the week, down 6.8 percent, and 55,885 intermodal units, down 9.3 percent compared with the same week in 2015. For the first 13 weeks of 2016, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 1,669,001 carloads, containers and trailers, down 5.5 percent.
Mexican railroads reported 16,006 carloads for the week, up 10.7 percent compared with the same week last year, and 10,080 intermodal units, up 35.7 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 13 weeks of 2016 was 342,696 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 0.2 percent from the same point last year.
For more information contact: AAR Media Relations at email@example.com 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.
Follow us on Twitter: @AAR_FreightRail or Facebook: www.facebook.com/freightrail.