For the week ending Jan. 22, 2022, U.S. Class I railroads hauled 223,395 carloads and 254,067 containers and trailers, a decline of 3.3% and 14.8%, respectively, from the prior-year period, the Association of American Railroads reported on Jan. 26.
Total U.S. weekly rail traffic came in at 477,462 carloads and intermodal units, decreasing 9.8% from the same week in 2021; it is the third consecutive week that traffic has fallen.
According to AAR, three of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2021. They were coal, up 2,727 carloads, to 66,313; chemicals, up 1,907 carloads, to 34,024; and nonmetallic minerals, up 125 carloads, to 25,354. Commodity groups that posted decreases vs. the same week last year included grain, down 4,034 carloads, to 23,259; motor vehicles and parts, down 3,284 carloads, to 10,845; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 2,902 carloads, to 9,608.
For the first three weeks of the year, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 667,062 carloads, a 4.5% drop from the same point last year; and 744,778 intermodal units, a 15.7% decline from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first three weeks of 2022 was 1,411,840 carloads and intermodal units, falling 10.8% compared with last year.
North American rail volume for the week ending Jan. 22, 2022, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 313,395 carloads, a 6.6% fall-off from the same week last year, and 330,983 intermodal units, a 15% decrease from last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America came in at 644,378 carloads and intermodal units, down 11.2%. North American rail volume for the first three weeks of this year was 1,895,033 carloads and intermodal units, down 12.4% compared with 2021.
Canadian railroads reported 69,070 carloads for the week, sinking 16.4%, and 61,804 intermodal units, dropping 16.1% compared with the same week in 2021. For the first three weeks of 2022, they reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 380,441 carloads, containers and trailers, down 18.9%.
Mexican railroads reported 20,930 carloads for the week, a 5.1% dip vs. the same week last year, and 15,112 intermodal units, a 15.2% decline. Their cumulative volume for the first three weeks of the year was 102,752 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 8.9% from the same point in 2021.