For the week ending June 25, 2022 (Week 25), U.S. rail traffic was 493,374 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.4% from the prior-year period, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported June 29. Class I railroads hauled 229,857 carloads, down 3.1%, and 263,517 containers and trailers, down 5.5%. Year-to-date, carloads were virtually flat (down 0.1%) and intermodal volume fell 3.5% compared with the same point last year.
This is the 18th consecutive week that total traffic has declined. (Total traffic gains were last seen in Week 7, which ended Feb. 17, 2022.) For more on traffic how this year’s traffic compares with previous years, see charts below, courtesy of Susquehanna Financial Group Analyst Bascome Majors.
According to AAR, for the week ending June 25, 2022, four of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase, compared with the same week last year. They included chemicals, up 1,103 carloads, to 32,742; farm products excluding grain, and food, up 655 carloads, to 16,396; and nonmetallic minerals, up 500 carloads, to 33,631. Commodity groups that posted declines included coal, down 4,554 carloads, to 62,041; metallic ores and metals, down 1,999 carloads, to 21,907; and miscellaneous carloads, down 1,885 carloads, to 8,928.
For the first 25 weeks of 2022, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 5,759,356 carloads, dipping 0.1% from the same point last year; and 6,613,002 intermodal units, falling 6.3% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 25 weeks of this year was 12,372,358 carloads and intermodal units, a 3.5% drop compared with 2021.
North American rail volume for the week ending June 25, 2022, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 324,963 carloads, down 3.8% from the same week last year, and 348,426 intermodal units, down 5.4%. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 673,389 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.6%. North American rail volume for the first 25 weeks of 2022 was 16,872,272 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.7% compared with 2021.
Canadian railroads reported 75,447 carloads for the week, decreasing 3.3%, and 70,496 intermodal units, dipping 1.8% compared with the same week in 2021. For the first 25 weeks of 2022, they reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 3,577,573 carloads, containers and trailers, a 5.5% decrease.
Mexican railroads reported 19,659 carloads for the week, falling 12.9% from the same point in 2021, and 14,413 intermodal units, dropping 17.9%. Their cumulative volume for the first 25 weeks of 2022 was 922,341 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 1.4% from the 2021 period.