Glimmers of Hope for U.S. Rail Traffic Dimming

Written by Andrew Corselli, Managing Editor
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The glimmers of hope indeed seem to be fading in the states, but our neighbors are still seeing gains.

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended Feb. 8, 2020, and, for this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 485,329 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.6% compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ended Feb. 8 were 232,116 carloads, down 4.2% compared with the same week in 2019, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 253,213 containers and trailers, down 8.8% compared to 2019.

The glimmers of hope indeed seem to be fading in the states, but our neighbors are still seeing gains.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2019. They included commodities such as miscellaneous carloads, up 2,404 carloads, to 10,900; farm products excl. grain, and food, up 1,205 carloads, to 16,256; and chemicals, up 887 carloads, to 32,670. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2019 included commodities such as coal, down 10,686 carloads, to 64,996; nonmetallic minerals, down 2,794 carloads, to 28,354; and motor vehicles and parts, down 694 carloads, to 16,376.

For the first six weeks of 2020, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,397,849 carloads, down 5.6% from the same point last year; and 1,498,293 intermodal units, down 6% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first six weeks of 2020 was 2,896,142 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 5.8% compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ended Feb. 8, 2020, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 327,509 carloads, down 1.3% compared with the same week last year, and 332,589 intermodal units, down 6.3% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 660,098 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.8%. North American rail volume for the first six weeks of 2020 was 3,974,361 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.9% compared with 2019.

Canadian railroads reported 76,168 carloads for the week, up 6.6%, and 62,145 intermodal units, up 0.1% compared with the same week in 2019. For the first six weeks of 2020, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 858,212 carloads, containers and trailers, down 0.7%.

Mexican railroads reported 19,225 carloads for the week, up 6.7% compared with the same week last year, and 17,231 intermodal units, up 13.8%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first six weeks of 2020 was 220,007 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 12% from the same point last year.

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