U.S. rail freight traffic dropped 4.1 percent in May

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reports that U.S. railroads originated 1,291,671 carloads in May 2019, down 2.1 percent, or 28,065 carloads, from May 2018. U.S. railroads also originated 1,315,684 containers and trailers in May 2019, down 5.9 percent, or 82,521 units, from the same month last year.

Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in May 2019 were 2,607,355, down 4.1 percent, or 110,586 carloads and intermodal units from May 2018.

In May 2019, six of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with May 2018. These included: petroleum & petroleum products, up 13,513 carloads or 25.9 percent; chemicals, up 2,630 carloads or 1.6 percent; and nonmetallic minerals, up 2,534 carloads or 12.4 percent.

Commodities that saw declines in May 2019 from May 2018 included: crushed stone, sand & gravel, down 20,358 carloads or 14.6 percent; grain, down 6,830 carloads or 5.7 percent; and primary metal products, down 3,117 carloads or 6.4 percent.

Source: AAR

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