Release Date:
Release ID: 1538

U.S. Rail Freight Volume Up From Year Ago

Freight volume on U.S. railroads was up during the week ended November 22 in comparison with the corresponding week a year ago, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported today.

Press Release

AAR cautioned, however, that comparisons between the two weeks are distorted by the fact that the year ago week included the Thanksgiving holiday.

Carload freight for the 47th week of 2009 totaled 309,109 cars, up 6.6 percent from last year, with volume up 10.2 percent in the East and 4.4 percent in the West. Intermodal volume, which is not included in the carload data, totaled 220,314 trailers or containers, up 15.1 percent from last year. Container volume was up 15.4 percent while trailer traffic gained 13.9 percent. Total volume was estimated at 32.9 billion ton-miles, up 7.5 percent from the 47th week last year.

Cumulative volume for the first 47 weeks of 2008 totaled 15,249,068 carloads, down 0.8 percent from 2007; 10,596,451 trailers or containers, down 2.9 percent; and total volume of an estimated 1.59 trillion ton-miles, up 0.3 percent from last year.

On Canadian railroads, during the week ended November 22 carload traffic totaled 72,246 cars, down 8.0 percent from last year, while intermodal volume totaled 46,516 trailers or containers, down 5.7 percent from 2007.

Cumulative originations for the first 47 weeks of 2008 on the Canadian railroads totaled 3,478,003 carloads, down 5.1 percent from last year, and 2,272,954 trailers and containers, an increase of 2.8 percent from last year.

Combined cumulative volume for the first 47 weeks of 2008 on U.S. and Canadian railroads totaled 18,727,071 carloads, down 1.6 percent from last year, and 12,869,405 trailers and containers, a 2.0 percent decrease from last year.

Also for the week ended November 22, Mexico's two reporting railroads showed the following volumes:

Kansas City Southern de Mexico (KCSM), 9,345 total carloads, down 14.9 percent from last year, and 4,751 trailers or containers, down 10.2 percent.

Ferrocarril Mexicano (Ferromex), 11,641 total carloads, up 37.6 percent from last year, and 2,585 trailers or containers, up 49.9 percent.

For the first 47 weeks of 2008, Mexico's railroads reported the following cumulative totals:

KCSM, 479,315 total carloads, down 6.6 percent from the first 47 weeks of 2007, and 238,738 trailers or containers, up 8.3 percent.

Ferromex, 585,579 total carloads, up 3.4 percent from last year and 136,064 trailers or containers, up 0.4 percent.

Railroads reporting to AAR account for 89 percent of U.S. carload freight and 98 percent of rail intermodal volume. When the U.S. operations of Canadian railroads are included, the figures increase to 96 percent and 100 percent. The Canadian railroads reporting to the AAR account for 91 percent of Canadian rail traffic. Railroads provide more than 40 percent of U.S. intercity freight transportation, more than any other mode, and rail traffic figures are regarded as an important economic indicator.


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