Demand for freight transportation continues to drive US railroad volume higher, with shipments up on the year by 4pc, Association of American Railroads (AAR) data show.
“The US economy has been improving since the 2016 slowdown,” and railroads are committed to maintaining the economic momentum, AAR senior vice president of policy and economics John Gray said yesterday.
Railroads hauled 18.9mn carloads and intermodal units this year through the end of August, up by 4pc compared with the same time in 2017.
Carload traffic is up by 1.9pc, while intermodal freight is up by 6pc.
Rail volume growth continued last month.
Carload shipments rose by 3.8pc in August compared with the same month in 2017. If coal traffic were not accounted for, volume would be up by 7.6pc.
“August was a very good month for US rail traffic,” Gray said.
The start of the autumn harvest boosted grain shipments by 19.8pc last. And loadings of petroleum and related products rose by 28.8pc.
That growth helped offset fewer shipments of coal, metallic ores and nonmetallic minerals.
Despite strengthening rail volume, “trade policy discussions that add a level of uncertainty to future economic growth” remain a concern. Gray said.
Trade tensions continue to mount after Canada and the US failed to hammer out a trade deal by the Friday deadline that President Donald Trump had imposed after he reached a bilateral accord with Mexico last week.
Meanwhile, Trump warned last week that he was prepared to go ahead with a plan to impose another $200bn in tariffs on China as early as this week. Those duties would follow more than $50bn worth of US tariffs and a similar volume of Chinese tariffs on US goods that have already taken effect.
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- On September 6, 2018