AAR Week 45: Intermodal Offsets Carloads, Again

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
(Canadian Pacific)

(Canadian Pacific)

For the week ending Nov. 7, 2020, a significant gain in intermodal once again surpassed a decline in carloads as the pandemic continued. U.S. rail traffic—522,028 carloads and intermodal units—rose 1.3% compared with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported Nov. 11.

U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 293,746 containers and trailers, up 10.3% compared with the same week in 2019, while total carloads for the week were 228,282, down 8.4% compared with 2019, AAR reported.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2019. They included grain, up 5,577 carloads, to 27,426; chemicals, up 1,813 carloads, to 32,636; and farm products excluding grain, and food, up 608 carloads, to 16,419. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2019 were coal, down 16,458 carloads, to 58,987; metallic ores and metals, down 4,852 carloads, to 17,522; and nonmetallic minerals, down 2,414 carloads, to 30,338.

For the first 45 weeks of 2020, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 9,708,857 carloads, down 14.4% from the same point last year; and 11,497,980 intermodal units, down 4.1% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 45 weeks of the year was 21,206,837 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 9.1% compared to 2019.

North American rail volume for the week ending Nov. 7, 2020, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 325,992 carloads, down 7.7% compared with the same week last year, and 385,564 intermodal units, up 9.2% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 711,556 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.8%. North American rail volume for the first 45 weeks of 2020 was 29,187,834 carloads and intermodal units, down 8.5% compared with 2019.

Canadian railroads reported 78,242 carloads for the week, down 6.1%, and 77,926 intermodal units, up 14.1% compared with the same week in 2019. For the first 45 weeks of 2020, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 6,423,284 carloads, containers and trailers, down 6%.

Mexican railroads reported 19,468 carloads for the week, down 5.7% compared with the same week last year, and 13,892 intermodal units, down 24%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 45 weeks of 2020 was 1,557,713 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 10.2% from the same point last year.

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