Three Cheers for Intermodal!

Written by Andrew Corselli
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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended Aug. 22, 2020, which saw, for the third consecutive week, U.S. weekly intermodal volume up from the same week last year.

U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 285,086 containers and trailers, up 5% compared to 2019. However, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 514,914 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.3% compared with the same week last year. And total carloads for the week ended Aug. 22 were 229,828 carloads, down 12% 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 grain, up 1,489 carloads, to 22,530; and farm products excl. grain, and food, up 705 carloads, to 15,951. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2019 included commodities such as coal, down 16,929 carloads, to 64,500; nonmetallic minerals, down 8,464 carloads, to 30,294; and metallic ores and metals, down 2,467 carloads, to 18,981.

For the first 34 weeks of 2020, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 7,222,554 carloads, down 16% from the same point last year; and 8,327,873 intermodal units, down 8% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 34 weeks of 2020 was 15,550,427 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 11.9% compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ended Aug. 22 on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 320,649 carloads, down 12.5% compared with the same week last year, and 371,003 intermodal units, up 2.4% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 691,652 carloads and intermodal units, down 5.1%. North American rail volume for the first 34 weeks of 2020 was 21,420,948 carloads and intermodal units, down 11.2% compared with 2019.

Canadian railroads reported 71,766 carloads for the week, down 14.2%, and 68,970 intermodal units, down 5.8% compared with the same week in 2019. For the first 34 weeks of 2020, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 4,713,185 carloads, containers and trailers, down 8.6%.

Mexican railroads reported 19,055 carloads for the week, down 12% compared with the same week last year, and 16,947 intermodal units, down 2.9%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 34 weeks of 2020 was 1,157,336 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 10.7% from the same point last year.

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