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North American rail traffic and volume slip for the week ending March 21

THE Association of American Railroads (R) announced that total US weekly rail traffic for the week ending March 21, 2020, totalled 459,966 carloads and intermodal units, down 8

27 April 2020 - 19:00

THE Association of American Railroads (R) announced that total US weekly rail traffic for the week ending March 21, 2020, totalled 459,966 carloads and intermodal units, down 8.6 per cent compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week were 224,048 carloads, down 5.4 per cent compared with the same week in 2019, while US weekly intermodal volume was 235,918 containers and trailers, down 11.4 per cent compared to 2019.



'Demand for rail service depends on the demand further down the chain for the products railroads haul and on the ability of firms they serve to produce what is demanded,' said R senior vice president John T Gray.



'It wouldn't be surprising to see rail volumes of other categories soften in the weeks ahead as steps taken to limit the spread of COVID-19 continue to impact producers, both here and abroad, particularly those of consumer goods or intermediate products from which those goods are produced,' Mr Gray added. 'The good news is that the intermodal volumes of the railroads serving the West Coast ports that receive the bulk of imports from China appear to have plateaued over the last four weeks, indicating that we may have seen the worst of the COVID-19 impacts on the Asia trade.'



For the first 12 weeks of 2020, US railroads reported cumulative volume of 2,773,207 carloads, down 6.1 per cent from the same point last year; and 2,948,362 intermodal units, down 8.1 per cent from last year. Total combined US traffic for the first 12 weeks of 2020 was 5,721,569 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 7.2 per cent compared to last year.



North American rail volume for the week ending March 21, 2020, on 12 reporting US, Canadian and Mexican railroads totalled 327,787 carloads, down 3.8 per cent compared with the same week last year, and 311,769 intermodal units, down 11.5 per cent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 639,556 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.7 per cent. North American rail volume for the first 12 weeks of 2020 was 7,863,533 carloads and intermodal units, down 5.5 per cent compared with 2019.



Canadian railroads reported 83,954 carloads for the week, up 1.4 per cent, and 61,041 intermodal units, down 14.1 percent compared with the same week in 2019. For the first 12 weeks of 2020, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 1,698,008 carloads, containers and trailers, down 2 per cent.



Mexican railroads reported 19,785 carloads for the week, down 5.9 per cent compared with the same week last year, and 14,810 intermodal units, down 1.3 per cent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 12 weeks of 2020 was 443,956 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 3.5 per cent from the same point last year, AJOT reported.


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