While U.S. carloads rose for Week 37 (ending Sept. 17, 2022), intermodal volume fell, bringing total traffic down compared with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported on Sept. 21. Traffic was also down cumulatively for the year’s first 37 weeks.
U.S. Class I railroads hauled 490,654 carloads and intermodal units for the week ending Sept. 17, 2022, down 2.9% from the prior-year period, according to AAR. Total carloads came in at 239,528, up 2%, while intermodal volume was 251,126 containers and trailers, down 7.3% compared with 2021. (Total U.S. traffic was also down in Week 36, but both carloads and intermodal volume declined.)
Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2021. They included coal, up 3,948 carloads, to 72,774; nonmetallic minerals, up 2,491 carloads, to 35,163; and motor vehicles and parts, up 2,185 carloads, to 13,879. Commodity groups that posted decreases included metallic ores and metals, down 3,192 carloads, to 21,581; miscellaneous carloads, down 1,623 carloads, to 8,250; and forest products, down 1,362 carloads, to 9,076.
For the first 37 weeks of 2022, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 8,553,624 carloads, up 0.3% from the year-ago period; and 9,740,253 intermodal units, down 5.1% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 37 weeks of 2022 was 18,293,877 carloads and intermodal units, a 2.7% drop-off from the same point last year.
North American rail volume for the week ending Sept. 17, 2022, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 342,034 carloads, increasing 3.5%, and 341,595 intermodal units, decreasing 4.7% from the same week in 2021. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 683,629 carloads and intermodal units, down 0.8%. North American rail volume for the first 37 weeks of 2022 was 25,025,034 carloads and intermodal units, dipping 2.4% from 2021.
Canadian railroads reported 81,350 carloads for the week, a 3.7% increase, and 75,196 intermodal units, a 0.6% increase from the same week in 2021. For the first 37 weeks of 2022, they reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 5,351,880 carloads, containers and trailers, decreasing 2.4%.
Mexican railroads reported 21,156 carloads for the week ending Sept. 17, 2022, a 22.1% gain compared with the year-earlier period, and 15,273 intermodal units, a 18% gain. Their cumulative volume for the first 37 weeks of 2022 was 1,379,277 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 2.1% from 2021.