U.S. Freight Rail Traffic: Same Stuff, Different Week

Written by Andrew Corselli, Managing Editor
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Canadian railroads are doing much better than their U.S. counterparts.

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported total U.S. Class I rail traffic for the week ended July 20, 2019 of 526,010 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.9% compared with the same week last year. For Canada’s railroads, traffic is on the rise, compared to 2018.

For U.S. carriers, it’s more of the same. Total carloads for the week ended July 20 were 254,434 carloads, down 4.2% compared with the same week in 2018, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 271,576 containers and trailers, down 5.6% compared to 2018.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2018. They were petroleum and petroleum products, up 1,018 carloads, to 12,121; miscellaneous carloads, up 488 carloads, to 10,592; and motor vehicles and parts, up 96 carloads, to 13,972. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2018 included commodities such as coal, down 7,347 carloads, to 78,583; metallic ores and metals, down 1,754 carloads, to 22,400; and grain, down 1,090 carloads, to 22,705.

For the first 29 weeks of 2019, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 7,288,173 carloads, down 3.1% from the same point last year; and 7,690,683 intermodal units, down 3.5% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 29 weeks of 2019 was 14,978,856 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 3.4% compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ending July 20, 2019, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 358,089 carloads, down 2.6% compared with the same week last year, and 360,844 intermodal units, down 3.7% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 718,933 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.2%. North American rail volume for the first 29 weeks of 2019 was 20,431,563 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.2% compared with 2018.

Canadian railroads reported 82,486 carloads for the week, up 2.6%, and 71,482 intermodal units, up 3.4% compared with the same week in 2018. For the first 29 weeks of 2019, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 4,373,129 carloads, containers and trailers, up 2.1%.

Mexican railroads reported 21,169 carloads for the week, down 3.4% compared with the same week last year, and 17,786 intermodal units, down 1.2%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 29 weeks of 2019 was 1,079,578 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 3.4% from the same point last year.

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