U.S rail traffic in Week 20 (ending May 20, 2023) lagged the same week last year—falling 5.2%, according to the Association of American Railroads’ May 24 report. Both carloads and intermodal volume were down.
According to the AAR, U.S. Class I railroads hauled a total of 470,694 carloads and intermodal units during the week ending May 20, comprising 225,093 carloads—down 0.4% from the same week last year—and 245,601 containers and trailers—down 9.3% from 2022.
Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2022. They included motor vehicles and parts, up 1,953 carloads, to 15,737; metallic ores and metals, up 1,846 carloads, to 22,379; and nonmetallic minerals, up 1,073 carloads, to 32,870. Commodity groups that registered decreases included grain, down 2,600 carloads, to 17,807; coal, down 2,537 carloads, to 63,072; and chemicals, down 816 carloads, to 31,588.
For the first 20 weeks of 2023, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 4,485,236 carloads, up 0.6% from the same point last year; and 4,658,692 intermodal units, down 10.8% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 20 weeks of the year was 9,143,928 carloads and intermodal units, a 5.6% drop-off from 2022.
North American rail volume for the week ending May 20, 2023, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 330,235 carloads, up 0.3% from the same week last year, and 331,392 intermodal units, down 9.3% from 2022. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 661,627 carloads and intermodal units, falling 4.8%. North American rail volume for the first 20 weeks of 2023 came in at 12,894,181 carloads and intermodal units, a 4.1% decrease compared with 2022.
Canadian railroads reported 87,662 carloads for the week ending May 20, 2023, increasing 1.3%, and 74,548 intermodal units, decreasing 10.3% compared with the same week last year. For the first 20 weeks of 2023, they reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 3,199,107 carloads, containers and trailers, down 0.4%.
Mexican railroads reported 17,480 carloads for the week ending May 20, 2023, rising 4.3% from the year-earlier period, and 11,243 intermodal units, dipping 3.1%. Their cumulative volume for the first 20 weeks of this year was 551,146 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 1.4% from the same point in 2022.