AAR: Intermodal Fights for Its Independence

Written by Andrew Corselli
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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended July 4, 2020, and, although traffic declines were still evident, things appear to be getting better.

Indeed. The recovery process that sped up in June has carried into July, as total U.S. weekly rail traffic for this week was 437,989 carloads and intermodal units, down just 2.4% compared with the same week last year. In addition, U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 245,222 containers and trailers, up 7.7% compared to 2019.

Total carloads for the week ended July 4 were 192,767 carloads, down 12.7% compared with the same week in 2019.

Two of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2019. They were farm products excl. grain, and food, up 1,233 carloads, to 15,148; and motor vehicles and parts, up 1,065 carloads, to 12,152. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2019 included commodities such as coal, down 10,946 carloads, to 48,930; metallic ores and metals, down 6,872 carloads, to 13,731; and nonmetallic minerals, down 5,000 carloads, to 26,632.

For the first 27 weeks of 2020, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 5,700,780 carloads, down 15.8% from the same point last year; and 6,436,785 intermodal units, down 10% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 27 weeks of 2020 was 12,137,565 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 12.8% compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ended July 4, 2020, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 280,627 carloads, down 12.5% compared with the same week last year, and 321,035 intermodal units, up 2.9% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 601,662 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.9%. North American rail volume for the first 27 weeks of 2020 was 16,776,056 carloads and intermodal units, down 11.8% compared with 2019.

Canadian railroads reported 69,121 carloads for the week, down 11%, and 61,227 intermodal units, down 8.2% compared with the same week in 2019. For the first 27 weeks of 2020, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 3,731,605 carloads, containers and trailers, down 8.3%.

Mexican railroads reported 18,739 carloads for the week, down 15.4% compared with the same week last year, and 14,586 intermodal units, down 17%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 27 weeks of 2020 was 906,886 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 10.8% from the same point last year.

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