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AAR reports freight rail traffic for 2015
December 2015 weekly numbers also reported

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported weekly U.S. rail traffic, as well as volumes for December 2015 and all of 2015.  

Carload traffic in December totaled 1,219,443 carloads, down 15.6 percent or 225,477 carloads from December 2014.  U.S. railroads also originated 1,179,907 containers and trailers in December 2015, down 0.7 percent or 8,502 units from the same month last year.  For December 2015, combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations were 2,399,350, down 8.9 percent or 233,979 carloads and intermodal units from December 2014.       In December 2015, four of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with December 2014.  This included: miscellaneous carloads, up 46.6 percent or 8,572 carloads; motor vehicles and parts, up 5.2 percent or 3,975 carloads; chemicals, up 0.7 percent or 963 carloads; and waste and scrap, up 3.3 percent or 510 carloads. Commodities that saw declines in December 2015 from December 2014 included: coal, down 27.9 percent or 81,625 carloads; petroleum and petroleum products, down 20.5 percent or 16,240 carloads; and metallic ores, down 39.1 percent or 17,087 carloads.     Excluding coal, carloads were down 7.7 percent or 67,647 carloads in December 2015 from December 2014.     Total U.S. carload traffic for 2015 was 14,266,204 carloads, down 6.1 percent or 911,823 carloads, while intermodal containers and trailers were 13,710,646 units, up 1.6 percent or 213,432 containers and trailers when compared to the same period in 2014. For 2015, total rail traffic volume in the United States was 27,976,850 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.5 percent or 698,391 carloads and intermodal units from last year.      "Weaknesses in energy and manufacturing, as well as, world economic softening, had a negative impact on both carload and intermodal traffic in 2015," said AAR Senior Vice President of Policy and Economics John T. Gray. "Railroads can't do much about the macroeconomic environment, but what they have done and are doing is making sure they operate safely and efficiently to maximize their customers' opportunities to grow their own business. The nation's railroads are well positioned to serve their customers in 2016."   

Week ending January 2, 2016     
Total U.S. weekly rail traffic for the week ending Jan. 2, 2016 was 395,663 carloads and intermodal units, down 11.3 percent compared with the same week last year.  For the week there were 207,743 carloads, down 20.3 percent compared with the same week in 2014, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 187,920 containers and trailers, up 1.2 percent compared to 2014.      Two of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2014. They were miscellaneous carloads, up 16.9 percent to 6,271 carloads; and chemicals, up 3 percent to 29,307 carloads. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2014 included coal, down 35.3 percent to 67,002 carloads; metallic ores and metals, down 24.7 percent to 18,367 carloads; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 20.3 percent to 12,213 carloads.   North American rail volume for the week ending Jan. 2, 2016, on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 280,388 carloads, down 19.4 percent compared with the same week last year, and 236,558 intermodal units, down 0.6 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 516,946 carloads and intermodal units, down 11.8 percent. North American rail volume for 2015 was 36,440,659 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.2 percent compared with 2014.   Canadian railroads reported 61,856 carloads for the week, down 18.8 percent, and 42,516 intermodal units, down 6 percent compared with the same week in 2014. For 2015, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 7,064,950 carloads, containers and trailers, down 1.7 percent.   Mexican railroads reported 10,789 carloads for the week, down 3.8 percent compared with the same week last year, and 6,122 intermodal units, down 12.7 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for 2015 was 1,398,859 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 1.1 percent from the same point last year.
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