WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 6, 2016 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported weekly U.S. rail traffic, as well as volumes for March 2016.
Carload traffic in March totaled 1,196,167 carloads, down 14.2 percent or 198,737 from March 2015. U.S. railroads also originated 1,250,925 containers and trailers in March 2016, down 7.7 percent or 104,343 units from the same month last year. For March 2016, combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations were 2,447,092, down 11 percent or 303,080 carloads and intermodal units from March 2015.
In March 2016, seven of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with March 2015. These included: chemicals, up 5.5 percent or 8,439 carloads; miscellaneous carloads, up 24.8 percent or 5,925 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, up 5.2 percent or 4,690 carloads. Commodities that saw declines in March 2016 from March 2015 included: coal, down 35.9 percent or 188,250 carloads; petroleum and petroleum products, down 22.4 percent or 15,524 carloads; and metallic ores, down 27.1 percent or 7,281 carloads.
Excluding coal, carloads were down 1.2 percent or 10,487 carloads from March 2015.
Total U.S. carload traffic for the first quarter of 2016 was 3,143,251 carloads, down 13.8 percent or 501,616 carloads, while intermodal containers and trailers were 3,339,672 units, up 1.5 percent or 49,958 containers and trailers when compared to the same period in 2015. For the first quarter of 2016, total rail traffic volume in the United States was 6,482,923 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.5 percent or 451,658 carloads and intermodal units from the same point last year.
“Railroads are still looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, and for some commodities, including coal and other energy-related products, it’s just not there yet,” said AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John T. Gray. “That said, most economist are calling for continued slow but steady economic growth for the U.S. in the months ahead. Railroads stand ready to provide the freight transportation service the economy will require.”
Source: Association of American Railroads