North American forest products rail volume 6.1% lower in 2019

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North American forest products rail volume 6.1% lower in 2019

January 20, 2020 - 13:00
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North American forest products railroad freight declined 6.1% in 2019 from a year ago to 860,535 carloads, according to the Assn of American railroads. This year’s volume was 5.7% below 2017.

US forest products freight was 4.5% lower for the year to 509,238 carloads. Canada declined 8.4% to 349,875 carloads, including an eight-day strike by the Teamsters union in late November.

Mexico’s small forest industry freight volume was down 1.4% in the year to 1,422 carloads.

Total North American carload freight was down 3.9% in 2019 with an 8.6% decline in coal, a 5.4% decrease in nonmetallic minerals, and a 3.9% decline in grain, AAR reported. All commodities tracked were lower in the year except petroleum, which increased 11.7%.

Forest products accounted for 4.7% of total carload traffic in 2019.