Rail traffic continues off track

Written by Andrew Corselli, Managing Editor
image description

Association of American Railroads Senior Vice President Policy and Economics John T. Gray. We can’t blame you for not smiling!

In an unfortunate sign of the times, U.S. weekly rail traffic has continued its slide, according to figures released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

As has been the case recently, for the week ended June 15, U.S. weekly rail traffic was 527,989 carloads and intermodal units, down 5.4% compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for this week were 257,385 carloads, down 4.6% compared with the same week in 2018, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 270,604 containers and trailers, down 6.2% compared to 2018.

Two of the 10 carload commodity groups posted a year-over-year increase. They were petroleum and petroleum products, up 1,528 carloads, to 12,747; and chemicals, up 701 carloads, to 32,431. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2018 included commodities such as coal, down 7,625 carloads, to 77,903; nonmetallic minerals, down 2,226 carloads, to 37,766; and forest products, down 1,284 carloads, to 9,547.

For the first 24 weeks of 2019, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 6,032,967 carloads, down 2.8% from the same point last year; and 6,385,232 intermodal units, down 2.8% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 24 weeks of 2019 was 12,418,199 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 2.8% compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ended June 15 on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 363,560 carloads, down 3.4% compared with the same week last year, and 359,366 intermodal units, down 4.4% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 722,926 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.9%. North American rail volume for the first 24 weeks of 2019 was 16,908,063 carloads and intermodal units, down 1.9% compared with 2018.

Canadian railroads reported 85,070 carloads for the week, up 0.6%, and 70,512 intermodal units, up 1% compared with the same week in 2018. For the first 24 weeks of 2019, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 3,607,069 carloads, containers and trailers, up 2.1%.

Mexican railroads reported 21,105 carloads for the week, down 4.7% compared with the same week last year, and 18,250 intermodal units, up 2.9%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 24 weeks of 2019 was 882,795 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 4.2% from the same point last year.

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