AAR: U.S. Weekly Intermodal Volume Up Again

Written by Andrew Corselli
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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended Aug. 15, 2020, which saw, for the second consecutive week, U.S. weekly intermodal volume up from the same week last year.

Indeed. U.S. weekly intermodal volume was up again—278,210 containers and trailers, up 1.9% compared to 2019. However, for this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 500,563 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.9% compared with the same week last year. And total carloads for the week ended Aug. 15 were 222,353 carloads, down 15.9% compared with the same week in 2019.

One of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2019. It was grain, up 2,791 carloads, to 22,582. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2019 included commodities such as coal, down 26,473 carloads, to 58,871; nonmetallic minerals, down 7,396 carloads, to 30,437; and metallic ores and metals, down 4,653 carloads, to 18,998.

For the first 33 weeks of 2020, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 6,992,726 carloads, down 16.2% from the same point last year; and 8,042,787 intermodal units, down 8.4% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 33 weeks of 2020 was 15,035,513 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 12.2% compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ended Aug. 15, 2020, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 315,346 carloads, down 14% compared with the same week last year, and 364,630 intermodal units, down 1% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 679,976 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.5%. North American rail volume for the first 33 weeks of 2020 was 20,729,296 carloads and intermodal units, down 11.3% compared with 2019.

Canadian railroads reported 73,488 carloads for the week, down 9.6%, and 69,963 intermodal units, down 8.2% compared with the same week in 2019. For the first 33 weeks of 2020, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 4,572,449 carloads, containers and trailers, down 8.5%.

Mexican railroads reported 19,505 carloads for the week, down 7.7% compared with the same week last year, and 16,457 intermodal units, down 14.1%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 33 weeks of 2020 was 1,121,334 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 10.8% from the same point last year.

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