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AAR reports weekly rail traffic for week ending June 3, 2017

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending June 3, 2017, as well as volume for May 2017. U.S. railroads originated 1,286,075 carloads in May 2017, up 8.4 percent, or 99,290 carloads, over May 2016. U.S. railroads also originated 1,339,417 containers and trailers in May 2017, up 4.6 percent, or 58,665 units, from the same month last year. Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in May 2017 were 2,625,492, up 6.4 percent or 157,955 carloads and intermodal units over May 2016.  

"All things considered, May was a good month for rail traffic," said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray.  "Thirteen of the 20 commodity categories we track had higher carloads in May 2017 than in May 2016, including the four biggest categories - coal, chemicals, crushed stone and sand, and grain. Excluding coal, carloads in May were up 4.1%, their biggest monthly increase in more than two years, and May was the best intermodal month of the year."  

In May 2017, 11 of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with May 2016. These included: coal, up 19.6 percent or 64,059 carloads; grain, up 24.5 percent or 22,963 carloads; and crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 15.3 percent or 17,416 carloads. Commodities that saw declines in May 2017 from May 2016 included: petroleum and petroleum products, down 16.5 percent or 9,365 carloads; primary forest products, down 12.1 percent or 742 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, down 3.8 percent or 3,419 carload.  

Excluding coal, carloads were up 4.1 percent, or 35,231 carloads, in May 2017 over May 2016.

Total U.S. carload traffic for the first five months of 2017 was 5,633,477 carloads, up 6.8 percent, or 358,904 carloads, from the same period last year; and 5,779,098 intermodal units, up 2.3 percent, or 130,090 containers and trailers, from last year.  

Week ending June 3, 2017  

Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 17 weeks of 2017 was 8,787,083 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 3.9 percent compared to last year.

For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 500,192 carloads and intermodal units, up 9.8 percent compared with the same week last year.  

Total carloads for the week ending June 3 were 252,853 carloads, up 12.7 percent compared with the same week in 2016, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 247,339 containers and trailers, up 7 percent compared to 2016.  

Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2016. They included grain, up 22.5 percent to 22,838 carloads; coal, up 21.5 percent to 82,523 carloads; and nonmetallic minerals, up 19.2 percent to 35,850 carloads. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2016 were petroleum and petroleum products, down 5.5 percent to 9,183 carloads; miscellaneous carloads, down 4.6 percent to 8,615 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, down 1.4 percent to 15,195 carloads.  

For the first 22 weeks of 2017, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 5,633,477 carloads, up 6.8 percent from the same point last year; and 5,779,098 intermodal units, up 2.3 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 22 weeks of 2017 was 11,412,575 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 4.5 percent compared to last year.  

North American rail volume for the week ending June 3, 2017, on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 344,957 carloads, up 12.3 percent compared with the same week last year, and 326,475 intermodal units, up 8.8 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 671,432 carloads and intermodal units, up 10.6 percent. North American rail volume for the first 22 weeks of 2017 was 15,122,888 carloads and intermodal units, up 5.5 percent compared with 2016.  

Canadian railroads reported 75,459 carloads for the week, up 13.4 percent, and 67,319 intermodal units, up 17.6 percent compared with the same week in 2016. For the first 22 weeks of 2017, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 3,125,812 carloads, containers and trailers, up 11.1 percent.  

Mexican railroads reported 16,645 carloads for the week, up 1.2 percent compared with the same week last year, and 11,817 intermodal units, up 1.4 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 22 weeks of 2017 was 584,501 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 2 percent from the same point last year.
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