AAR: Make it 41 Straight Weeks of U.S. Traffic Downturn

Written by Andrew Corselli, Managing Editor
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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended October 12, 2019, and it’s more of the same.

For this week—and as we’ve seen for the past 40 weeks and counting—total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 510,820 carloads and intermodal units, down 7% compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ended October 12 were 243,807 carloads, down 7.5% compared with the same week in 2018, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 267,013 containers and trailers, down 6.6% compared to 2018.

Two of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2018. They were petroleum and petroleum products, up 912 carloads, to 12,717; and chemicals, up 439 carloads, to 30,855. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2018 included commodities such as coal, down 12,263 carloads, to 73,902; metallic ores and metals, down 3,402 carloads, to 19,720; and motor vehicles and parts, down 2,305 carloads, to 15,295.

For the first 41 weeks of 2019, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 10,355,081 carloads, down 4% from the same point last year; and 10,924,972 intermodal units, down 4.2% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 41 weeks of 2019 was 21,280,053 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 4.1% compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ended October 12, 2019, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 340,933 carloads, down 7.6% compared with the same week last year, and 359,545 intermodal units, down 4.1% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 700,478 carloads and intermodal units, down 5.8%. North American rail volume for the first 41 weeks of 2019 was 29,051,744 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.9% compared with 2018.

Canadian railroads reported 78,196 carloads for the week, down 8.3%, and 73,060 intermodal units, up 4.8% compared with the same week in 2018. For the first 41 weeks of 2019, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 6,224,302 carloads, containers and trailers, up 1.1%.

Mexican railroads reported 18,930 carloads for the week, down 5.7% compared with the same week last year, and 19,472 intermodal units, up 2.1%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 41 weeks of 2019 was 1,547,389 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 2.8% from the same point last year.

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