This week we are providing you with ease of access to the information published by the Association of American Railroads, released June 2nd and covering freight rail traffic for the month ending May 29th. From AAR:

“U.S. railroads originated 964,356 carloads in May 2021, up 30.4 percent, or 224,623 carloads, from May 2020. U.S. railroads also originated 1,151,824 containers and trailers in May 2021, up 26.2 percent, or 238,927 units, from the same month last year. Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in May 2021 were 2,116,180, up 28 percent, or 463,550 carloads and intermodal units from May 2020.

In May 2021, 18 of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with May 2020. These included: coal, up 77,228 carloads or 41.7 percent; motor vehicles & parts, up 34,021 carloads or 206.5 percent; and chemicals, up 23,368 carloads or 20.8 percent. Commodities that saw declines in May 2021 from May 2020 included: farm products excluding grain, down 166 carloads or 4.9 percent; and primary forest products, down 67 carloads or 1.7 percent.

“U.S. rail volumes in May 2021 were encouraging. Total carloads were the most for any month since October 2019 on a weekly average basis,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “In May, 18 of the 20 carload categories we track had carload gains over May 2020, while 12 of the 20 had gains over May 2019. Meanwhile, intermodal just had the best January to May period ever for U.S. railroads. Railroads hope to build on these gains in the months ahead as they help the economy return to strong, sustainable growth.””

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