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AAR reports Weekly Rail Traffic for July and week ending July 30, 2016

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has reported weekly U.S. rail traffic, as well as volumes for July 2016. Carload traffic in July totaled 1,025,367 carloads, down 8.8 percent or 99,530 carloads from July 2015. U.S. railroads also originated 1,002,401 containers and trailers in July 2016, down 6.9 percent or 74,482 units from the same month last year. For July 2016, combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations were 2,027,768, down 7.9 percent or 174,012 carloads and intermodal units from July 2015.  

In July 2016, four of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with July 2015. These included: grain, up 15.3 percent or 12,641 carloads; waste and nonferrous scrap, up 25.9 percent or 3,400 carloads; and miscellaneous carloads, up 12.9 percent or 2,880 carloads. Commodities that saw declines in July 2016 from July 2015 included: coal, down 17.5 percent or 70,479 carloads; petroleum and petroleum products, down 22 percent or 11,926 carloads; and crushed stone, gravel and sand, down 11.6 percent or 11,765 carloads.  

Excluding coal, carloads were down 4 percent or 29,051 carloads in July 2016 from July 2015.  

Total U.S. carload traffic for the first 30 weeks of 2016 was 7,320,583 carloads, down 11.9 percent or 986,109 carloads, while intermodal containers and trailers were 7,715,404 units, down 2.8 percent or 221,538 containers and trailers when compared to the same period in 2015. For the first seven months of 2016, total rail traffic volume in the United States was 15,035,987 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.4 percent or 1,207,647 carloads and intermodal units from the same point last year.   "Rail traffic continues to reflect the uncertainty rail customers face in a challenging economicenvironment," said AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John T. Gray, who noted rail intermodal remained off from 2015's record traffic level while carloads showed a small improvement in coal and a bit of an improvement in grain. "For the present, railroads are focused on providing safe and efficient service to their customers, while watching to see if the increase in consumer spending in the second quarter will lead to additional Gross Domestic Product growth in the second half of the year."  

Week Ending July 30, 2016   Total U.S. weekly rail traffic for the week ending July 30, 2016 was 536,916 carloads and intermodal units, down 5.3 percent compared with the same week last year.   Total carloads for the week ending July 30 were 274,355 carloads, down 5.3 percent compared with the same week in 2015, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 262,561 containers and trailers, down 2.6 percent compared to 2015.   Four of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2015. They included miscellaneous carloads, up 16.7 percent to 10,839 carloads; grain, up 14.9 percent to 24,677 carloads; and chemicals, up 3.1 percent to 31,025 carloads.Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2015 included petroleum and petroleum products, down 25.0 percent to 10,383 carloads; coal, down 12.2 percent to 90,330 carloads; and forest products, down 8.1 percent to 10,329 carloads.  

North American rail volume for the week ending July 30, 2016, on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 361,377 carloads, down 5.9 percent compared with the same week last year, and 330,964 intermodal units, down 3.0 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 692,341 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.5 percent. North American rail volume for the first 30 weeks of 2016 was 19,680,282 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.2 percent compared with 2015.   Canadian railroads reported 71,718 carloads for the week, down 6.7 percent, and 62,043 intermodal units, up 2.5 percent compared with the same week in 2015. For the first 30 weeks of 2016, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 3,835,263 carloads, containers and trailers, down 7.6 percent.  

Mexican railroads reported 15,304 carloads for the week, down 12.1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 6,360 intermodal units, down 42.7 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 30 weeks of 2016 was 809,032 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 1.2 percent from the same point last year.
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