U.S. Rail Traffic Still Falling As Fall Approaches

Written by Andrew Corselli, Managing Editor
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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended September 7, 2019, and, for this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 469,285 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.6% compared with the same week last year.

Manufacturing and goods trading must still be hurting—and the cooler weather certainly hasn’t cooled off the drops—as total carloads for the week ended September 7 were 238,988 carloads, down 5.6% compared with the same week in 2018, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 230,297 containers and trailers, down 7.5% compared to 2018.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2018. They were chemicals, up 1,425 carloads, to 30,888; miscellaneous carloads, up 42 carloads, to 8,674; and petroleum and petroleum products, up 1 carload, to 11,653. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2018 included commodities such as coal, down 5,965 carloads, to 79,446; grain, down 2,589 carloads, to 17,431; and nonmetallic minerals, down 2,524 carloads, to 32,734.

For the first 36 weeks of 2019, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 9,110,692 carloads, down 3.4% from the same point last year; and 9,558,740 intermodal units, down 4% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 36 weeks of 2019 was 18,669,432 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 3.7% compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ended September 7, 2019, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 335,381 carloads, down 6% compared with the same week last year, and 312,343 intermodal units, down 6.3% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 647,724 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.2%. North American rail volume for the first 36 weeks of 2019 was 25,472,443 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.6% compared with 2018.

Canadian railroads reported 77,774 carloads for the week, down 6%, and 66,136 intermodal units, up 1.4% compared with the same week in 2018. For the first 36 weeks of 2019, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 5,455,151 carloads, containers and trailers, up 1.7%.

Mexican railroads reported 18,619 carloads for the week, down 10.6% compared with the same week last year, and 15,910 intermodal units, down 17.8%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 36 weeks of 2019 was 1,347,860 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 3.6% from the same point last year.

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