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Intermodal Rail Traffic Posts More Than 5 Percent Yearly Increase

January 5, 2015

By Evan Lockridge

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Photo by Jim Park
Photo by Jim Park

Intermodal rail traffic moved by U.S. railroads posted a healthy gain for all of last year, according to new figures released by the Association of American Railroads.

It increased 5.2% from the previous year’s level with 13,496,822 intermodal units moved after setting several new record weekly highs during 2014, including in late November.

U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 15,176,484 carloads in 2014, up 3.9% from the year before. Total combined U.S. traffic for the 52 weeks of 2014, was 28,673,306 carloads and intermodal units, up 4.5% from 2013.

For all of 2014, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 4,196,771 carloads, up 2.6% from 2013, and 2,970,039 intermodal units, up 6.3% from 2013.

Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the 52 weeks of 2014 was 817,788 carloads, up 3.3% from 2013, and 553,938 intermodal units, up 6% from 2013.

Combined North American rail volume for the 52 weeks of 2014 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 20,191,043 carloads, up 3.6% compared with 2013, and 17,020,799 intermodal units, up 5.4% compared with 2013.

The gains in rail intermodal traffic, as well as overall rail volume, follow a report from about two weeks ago showing truck tonnage in November hit its highest level on record. December figures have yet to be released.

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