AAR Week 52: Another ‘Win’ for Intermodal

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
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For the week ending Dec. 26, total U.S. weekly rail traffic of 405,111 carloads and intermodal units rose 8.4% compared with the same period last year, the Association of American Railroads reported Dec. 30. That was based on the continuing trend of intermodal gains (up 20.8% to 220,082 units) compensating for carload losses (down 3.4% to 185,029) vs. the 2019 period.

Four of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same period in 2019: Grain, up 6,242 carloads, to 21,769; motor vehicles and parts, up 1,647 carloads, to 10,211; and miscellaneous carloads, up 997 carloads, to 6,647. Commodity groups posting decreases compared with the same week in 2019 were: Coal, down 9,611 carloads, to 50,742; metallic ores and metals, down 1,589 carloads, to 18,330; and chemicals, down 1,394 carloads, to 27,479.

For the first 52 weeks of 2020, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 11,279,815 carloads, a decline of 13% from the same point last year; and 13,455,711 intermodal units, down 2% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 52 weeks of 2020 was 24,735,526 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 7.4% compared with last year.

North American rail volume for the week on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 271,170 carloads, a falloff of 1.8% compared with the same week last year, and 288,897 intermodal units, a rise of 16.8% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 560,067 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 7% compared with 2019. North American rail volume for the first 52 weeks of 2020 was 34,039,326 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.8% compared with 2019.

Canadian railroads reported 70,407 carloads for the week, down 0.8%, and 57,027 intermodal units, up 8.1% compared with the same week in 2019. For the first 52 weeks of 2020, they reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 7,505,256 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 4.2%.

Mexican railroads reported 15,734 carloads for the week, up 14.1% compared with the same week last year, and 11,788 intermodal units, down 5.7%. Cumulative volume for the first 52 weeks of 2020 was 1,798,544 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 9.6% from the same point last year.

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