Industrial Insight

Rail traffic up | March 3, 2017–50981?

U.S. railroads moved 2,112,479 carloads and intermodal units in February, a 4.2 percent increase from traffic totals in February 2016, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported yesterday.

Carload traffic last month rose 6.7 percent to 1,044,040 units compared with the same month last year. U.S. railroads also originated 1,068,439 containers and trailers in February, up 1.8 percent from the same month last year.

Eleven of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by AAR on a monthly basis showed carload gains last month compared with February 2016. These included coal, up 19.2 percent or 57,589 carloads; crushed stone, gravel, and sand, up 13.1 percent or 10,091 carloads; and primary metal products, up 6.8 percent or 2,357 carloads.

Commodity categories that posted decreases last month compared with a year ago included petroleum and petroleum products, down 12.4 percent or 5,543 carloads; motor vehicles and parts, down 4.8 percent or 3,746 carloads; and metallic ores, down 19.1 percent or 2,793 carloads.

Excluding coal, carloads in February inched up 1.1 percent compared with last year.

The 19.2 percent increase in coal carloads last month was the highest percentage gain for coal since before 1988 when AAR’s current record series began, said AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John Gray in a press release.


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I'm the executive vice president for a steel casting trade association, the Steel Founders' Society of America. I've got a crazy wife, five crazy children, three crazy people that married into the family, and two crazy fun little grandsons.







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