The Association of American Railroads (AAR) now has 20 weeks of rail traffic data for 2022 (ending May 21). Total North American carload and intermodal traffic dipped 3.8% from the same point last year—falling 3.6% in the U.S. and 6.4% in Canada, and rising 3.2% in Mexico.
North American rail volume for the first 20 weeks of 2022 (ending May 21) on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads came in at 13,466,320 carloads and intermodal units. Cumulative volume in the U.S. was 9,877,035; in Canada, 2,843,183; and in Mexico, 746,102 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers.
According to the AAR, for the week ending May 21, 2022, U.S. Class I railroads hauled a total of 506,976 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.1% compared with the same week last year. This comprises 233,244 carloads—down 3.7% from the prior-year period—and 273,732 containers and trailers—down 4.5% compared with 2021.
It is the 13th consecutive week that total traffic has declined. (Total traffic gains were last seen in Week 7, which ended Feb. 17, 2022.)
For the week ending May 21, 2022, four of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase vs. the same week in 2021. They included coal, up 966 carloads, to 65,609; chemicals, up 784 carloads, to 33,943; and forest products, up 171 carloads, to 10,300. Commodity groups that posted decreases included grain, down 3,515 carloads, to 21,797; miscellaneous carloads, down 3,023 carloads, to 8,129; and metallic ores and metals, down 1,932 carloads, to 21,664.
For the first 20 weeks of 2022, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 4,602,072 carloads, up 0.4% from the same point last year; and 5,274,963 intermodal units, down 6.8% from last year.
North American rail volume for the week ending May 21, 2022, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 329,823 carloads, down 2.8% vs. the same week last year, and 365,682 intermodal units, down 3% vs. last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 695,505 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.9%.
Canadian railroads reported 75,281 carloads for the week, down 1.3%, and 76,189 intermodal units, up 0.9% from the same week in 2021.
Mexican railroads reported 21,298 carloads for the week, up 3.1% compared with the same week in 2021, and 15,761 intermodal units, up 4.4%.