Freight Traffic Rises as Staggers Turns 40. Serendipity?

The AAR reported on Oct. 14, 2020—40 years to the day that President Jimmy Carter signed Staggers into Law— that for the week ending Oct. 10, 2020, total U.S. rail traffic was 520,452 carloads and intermodal units, up 1.9% compared with the same week last year. Total carloads were 230,964, down 5.2% compared with the same week in 2019, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 289,488 containers and trailers, up 8.4% compared to 2019.
Six of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2019. They included grain, up 6,531 carloads, to 27,434; motor vehicles and parts, up 810 carloads, to 16,103; and miscellaneous carloads, up 655 carloads, to 10,030. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2019 included coal, down 11,610 carloads, to 62,229; nonmetallic minerals, down 5,053 carloads, to 30,479; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 2,438 carloads, to 10,259.

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