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AAR reports North American rail traffic data for January 2021

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Dry Bulk,


The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has released its North American rail traffic data for the week ending 30 January 2021, as well as its report on the total volumes for January 2021.

US railroads originated 930 303 carloads in January 2021 (down 2.1%, or 19 799 carloads, from January 2020). US railroads also originated 1.17 million containers and trailers in January 2021 (up 12.1%, or 126 548 units, from the same month last year). Combined US carload and intermodal originations in January 2021 totalled 2.10 million (up 5.3%, or 106 749 carloads and intermodal units, from January 2020).

In January 2021, 10 of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with January 2020. These included: grain (up 31 434 carloads or 40.0%); chemicals (up 5717 carloads or 4.4%); and metallic ores (up 5190 carloads or 28.7%). Commodities that saw declines in January 2021 from January 2020 included: coal (down 35 356 carloads or 12.7%); crushed stone, sand, and gravel (down 14 097 carloads or 18.9%); and petroleum and petroleum products (down 6529 carloads or 12.1%).

“We are encouraged by rail volumes in January. US intermodal shipments and carloads of chemicals set new records; grain had its biggest-ever year-over-year increase; total carloads were the highest they’ve been in a year; and carloads excluding coal actually grew year-over-year for the second straight month,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “To be sure, the economy remains under strain with a good deal of uncertainty, but we’re cautiously optimistic about the future. Railroads are well prepared to support a strong recovery whenever it occurs.”

Excluding coal, carloads were up 15 557 carloads (2.3%) in January 2021 from January 2020. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were down 15 877 carloads (2.7%).

Week ending 30 January 2021

Total US weekly rail traffic was 520 693 carloads and intermodal units (up 2.1% compared with the same week last year).

Total carloads for the week ending 30 January were 231 370 carloads (down 4.1% compared with the same week in 2020), while US weekly intermodal volume was 289 323 containers and trailers (up 7.6% compared to 2020).

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2020. They were grain (up 8321 carloads to 27 482); chemicals (up 980 carloads to 34 023); and farm products, excluding grain and food (up 98 carloads to 16 373). Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2020 included coal (down 7710 carloads to 61 405); non-metallic minerals (down 5424 carloads to 24 620); and petroleum and petroleum products (down 1952 carloads to 11 291).

North American rail volume for the week ending 30 January 2021, based on 12 reporting US, Canadian, and Mexican railroads, totalled 333 887 carloads (down 3.4% compared with the same week last year), and 377 263 intermodal units (up 4.7% compared with last year). Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 711 150 carloads and intermodal units (up 0.7%). North American rail volume for the first four weeks of 2021 was 2.87 million carloads and intermodal units (up 4.9% compared with 2020).

Canadian railroads reported 81 944 carloads for the week (down 3.4%), and 70 571 intermodal units (down 3.3% compared with the same week in 2020). For the first four weeks of 2021, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 620 608 carloads, containers, and trailers (up 5.6%).

Mexican railroads reported 20 573 carloads for the week (up 4.5% compared with the same week last year) and 17 369 intermodal units (down 6.0%). Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first four weeks of 2021 was 146 290 carloads, intermodal containers, and trailers (down 3.7% from the same point last year).

Read the article online at: https://www.drybulkmagazine.com/dry-bulk/04022021/aar-reports-north-american-rail-traffic-data-for-january-2021/

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