By Colin Kellaher
North American rail traffic slipped 1% last week for a second straight weekly decline, as railroads feel the pinch of supply-chain issues, data from the Association of American Railroads showed.
Carload volume rose 3.2% for the week ended Aug. 28 on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads, while intermodal traffic fell 4.6%, the trade group said Wednesday.
In the week ended Aug. 21, North American rail traffic fell 1.5%. For the first 34 weeks of the year, North American rail traffic is up 9.6%, compared with a year-to-date gain of 9.9% reported a week earlier.
"Rail traffic is navigating many of the same challenges plaguing other supply-chain participants, including chassis and container shortages at ports; shortages of drayage truck drivers; port congestion; insufficient warehouse capacity at many locations; and now, weather problems in the Gulf," said John Gray, AAR senior vice president.
The AAR said U.S. rail traffic fell 0.7% last week, as a 4.6% drop in the volume of intermodal containers and trailers more than offset a 4.1% rise in carloads. U.S. rail traffic is up 10.8% for the first 34 weeks of the year.
Canadian rail traffic edged down 0.1% last week, with carloads up 1.9% and intermodal units down 2.1%. Canadian rail traffic is up 6.7% for the first 34 weeks of the year.
Mexican rail traffic fell 8.6% last week amid a 1.8% drop in carloads and a 16.9% plunge in intermodal units. Mexican rail traffic is up 5.5% for the year to date, the AAR said.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires