By Colin Kellaher

 

North American rail traffic rose 9.5% last week, as intermodal volume in the U.S. and Canada remained strong and railroads began to lap last year's large drop in business related to widespread shutdowns sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, data from the Association of American Railroads showed.

Carload volume edged up 0.7% for the week ended March 20 on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads, while intermodal traffic rose 18.8%, the trade group said Wednesday.

In the week ended March 13, North American rail traffic rose 10.3%. For the first 11 weeks of the year, North American rail traffic is up 3.4%.

Amid the improving conditions, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. on Sunday said it struck a deal to buy Kansas City Southern in a transaction valued at about $25 billion that would create the first freight-rail network linking Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.

The AAR said U.S. rail traffic rose 11.6% last week, with the volume of intermodal containers and trailers up 19.8% and carloads rising 2.9%. U.S. rail traffic is up 3.5% for the first 11 weeks of the year.

Canadian rail traffic rose 6.5% last week, as a 20.4% leap in intermodal units more than offset a 3.6% drop in carloads. Canadian rail traffic is up 5.7% for the first 11 weeks of the year.

Mexican rail traffic fell again last week, declining 4.5% amid a 5.6% drop in carloads and a 2.9% fall in intermodal units. For the year to date, Mexican rail traffic is down 5.7%, the AAR said.

 

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 24, 2021 13:29 ET (17:29 GMT)

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