US November rail traffic up 3.6pc in week ending in December: AAR.

US RAILWAYS originated 1,032,067 carloads in November 2018, down 0

07 December 2018 - 19:00

US RAILWAYS originated 1,032,067 carloads in November 2018, down 0.2 per cent year on year, also originating 1,100,815 containers and trailers in November, up 2.5 per cent, according to the Association of American Railroads (R).

Total combined US traffic for the first 48 weeks of 2018 was 25,995,396 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 3.6 per cent compared to last year. Combined US carload and intermodal originations in November 2018 were 2,132,882, up 1.2 per cent..

In November 2018, nine of the 20 commodity categories showed gains, including petroleum & petroleum products, up 11,674 carloads or 29 per cent.

All other carloads, up 2,920 carloads or 13.7 per cent; and primary metal products, up 2,636 carloads or 7.9 per cent.

Commodities that saw year-on-year declines in November included crushed stone, sand & gravel, down 12,090 carloads or 12.8 per cent; motor vehicles & parts, down 3,704 carloads or 5.5 per cent; and coal, down 2,840 carloads or 0.8 per cent.

'Total carloads fell for the first time in nine months, in part because of lower carloads of frac sand, while intermodal grew only modestly,' said R vice president John Gray.

'November might just be a temporary correction as rail customers rebalance inventories. There is uncertainty, especially regarding trade policy, that is causing volatility in markets railroads serve,' he said.

Excluding coal, carloads were up 422 carloads, or 0.1 per cent, in November 2018 from November 2017. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were up 2,140 carloads, or 0.4 per cent.

Total US carload traffic for the first 11 months of 2018 was 12,618,663 carloads, up 1.7 per cent, or 209,718 carloads, from the same period last year; and 13,376,733 intermodal units, up 5.5 per cent, or 699,102 containers and trailers, from last year.


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