For some rail traffic categories, percentage changes for the current week compared with the same week in 2020 are inflated due to the widespread shutdowns — and subsequent large reduction in rail volumes — that impacted many economic sectors last year at this time.
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported May 26 US and Canadian rail traffic volumes for the week of May 22, 2021.
US railroads originated 528,774 carloads and intermodal units for the week of May 22, up +23% from the same week last year and 286,547 containers and trailers, up +20%.
Total US combined rail traffic for the first 20 weeks of 2021 was 10,242,390 carloads and intermodal units, up +13% from the same period last year.
Regarding North American rail volume for the first 20 weeks of 2021, Canadian railroads reported cumulative volume of 3,035,544 carloads, containers, and trailers, up +8.5% from the same week one year ago.