U.S. Rail Traffic Keeps Falling

Written by Andrew Corselli, Managing Editor
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U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 251,690 containers and trailers, down 8% compared to 2019.

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended Feb. 15, 2020, and, for this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 479,137 carloads and intermodal units, down 8.6% compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ended Feb. 15 were 227,447 carloads, down 9.1% compared with the same week in 2019, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 251,690 containers and trailers, down 8% compared to 2019.

Mexico, though, is still seeing gains, while Canadian traffic has cooled off a bit.

Four of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2019. They included commodities such as petroleum and petroleum products, up 734 carloads, to 12,622; motor vehicles and parts, up 700 carloads, to 17,583; and metallic ores and metals, up 582 carloads, to 20,859. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2019 included commodities such as coal, down 17,147 carloads, to 63,045; nonmetallic minerals, down 3,614 carloads, to 28,381; and grain, down 2,973 carloads, to 18,325.

For the first seven weeks of 2020, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,625,296 carloads, down 6.1% from the same point last year; and 1,749,983 intermodal units, down 6.3% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first seven weeks of 2020 was 3,375,279 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 6.2% compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ended Feb. 15, 2020, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 324,148 carloads, down 5.9% compared with the same week last year, and 325,701 intermodal units, down 7.9% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 649,849 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.9%. North American rail volume for the first seven weeks of 2020 was 4,624,210 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.3% compared with 2019.

Canadian railroads reported 75,421 carloads for the week, up 3.2%, and 55,059 intermodal units, down 12.1% compared with the same week in 2019. For the first seven weeks of 2020, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 988,692 carloads, containers and trailers, down 1.1%.

Mexican railroads reported 21,280 carloads for the week, up 1.3% compared with the same week last year, and 18,952 intermodal units, up 9.2%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first seven weeks of 2020 was 260,239 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 10.9% from the same point last year.

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