AAR: North American Rail Volume Down Through 32 WeeksWritten by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) now has 32 weeks of traffic data for 2022 (ending Aug. 13). Total North American carload and intermodal traffic dipped 2.9% from the same point last year—with decreases in the U.S. and Canada, and an increase in Mexico.
North American rail volume for the first 32 weeks of this year (ending Aug. 13) on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads came in at 21,607,752 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers.
Cumulative volume in the U.S. was 15,812,753 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.1% from 2021; in Canada, 4,596,939 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.3%; and in Mexico, 1,198,060 carloads and intermodal units, up 1.2%.
According to AAR, for the week ending Aug. 13, 2022, U.S. Class I railroads hauled a total of 502,775 carloads and intermodal units, decreasing 0.3% compared with the same week last year. This comprises 237,851 carloads—up 1.3% from the prior-year period—and 264,924 containers and trailers—down 1.8% compared with 2021.
This is the second consecutive week that total traffic has declined. Week 30, which ended July 30, 2022, posted a total traffic gain—the first time a gain has been reported since Week 7, which ended Feb. 17, 2022.
For the week ending Aug. 13, 2022, four of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase vs. the same week in 2021. They included coal, up 2,497 carloads, to 69,300; grain, up 2,037 carloads, to 21,408; and nonmetallic minerals, up 1,710 carloads, to 34,323. Commodity groups that posted decreases included metallic ores and metals, down 2,959 carloads, to 21,743; miscellaneous carloads, down 595 carloads, to 8,781; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 582 carloads, to 9,732.
For the first 32 weeks of 2022, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 7,369,244 carloads, down 0.1% from the same point last year; and 8,443,509 intermodal units, down 5.6% from last year.
North American rail volume for the week ending Aug. 13, 2022, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 333,905 carloads, up 1.5% compared with the same week last year, and 356,333 intermodal units, down 1.3% vs. 2021. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 690,238 carloads and intermodal units, flat with 2021.
Canadian railroads reported 74,564 carloads for the week, rising 2.7%, and 75,251 intermodal units, increasing 0.2% from the same week in 2021.
Mexican railroads reported 21,490 carloads for the week, a 1.4% drop-off from the prior-year period, and 16,158 intermodal units, a 1% increase.