AAR Week 47: Intermodal Continues to Drive Growth

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
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Total U.S. rail traffic of 534,607 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Nov. 21, 2020, kept pace with the same week last year, rising 2.5%, based on a double-digit intermodal gain, according to a Nov. 25 report from the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Total carloads were down 7.2% to 233,478, compared with the same week in 2019, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was up 11.5% to 301,129 containers and trailers, compared with 2019.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2019. They included grain, up 2,976 carloads, to 25,187; farm products excluding grain, and food, up 1,515 carloads, to 16,890; and chemicals, up 920 carloads, to 32,721. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2019 were coal, down 12,672 carloads, to 63,032; metallic ores and metals, down 3,330 carloads, to 19,680; and nonmetallic minerals, down 3,182 carloads, to 29,888.

For the first 47 weeks of 2020, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 10,174,481 carloads, a decline of 14% from the same point last year; and 12,094,425 intermodal units, down 3.4% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 47 weeks of 2020 was 22,268,906 carloads and intermodal units, falling 8.5% compared with last year.

North American rail volume for the week ending Nov. 21, 2020, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads added up to 335,882 carloads, down 1.7% compared with the same week in 2019, and 393,779 intermodal units, up 11.9% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 729,661 carloads and intermodal units, rising 5.2%. North American rail volume for the first 47 weeks of 2020 was 30,635,695 carloads and intermodal units, falling 7.9% compared with 2019.

The Canadian railroads reported 83,018 carloads for the week, up 18.3%, and 78,838 intermodal units, up 21% compared with the same week in 2019. For the first 47 weeks of 2020, they reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 6,742,404 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 5.2%.

Mexican railroads reported 19,386 carloads for the week, a decline of 3.4% compared with the same week last year, and 13,812 intermodal units, a decrease of 17.7%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 47 weeks of 2020 was 1,624,385 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 10.2% from the same point last year.

Categories: Class I, Freight, Freight Forecasting, Intermodal, News, Short Lines & Regionals, Switching & Terminal Tags: , ,