U.S. freight rail traffic dipped in Week 38, compared with the prior-year period, as carloads were down 3.2% and intermodal volume fell 5.4%, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported for the week ending Sept. 24, 2022.
For week 38, total U.S. weekly rail traffic came in at 489,111 carloads and intermodal units, decreasing 4.4% from the same week in 2021. U.S. Class I railroads moved 231,258 carloads, down 3.2% from last year; and 257,853 containers and trailers, down 5.4%, according to AAR.
Three of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase for the week ending Sept. 24, 2022, compared with the same week in 2021. They were motor vehicles and parts, up 1,610 carloads, to 13,165; coal, up 819 carloads, to 70,697; and nonmetallic minerals, up 372 carloads, to 34,436. Commodity groups that posted declines included metallic ores and metals, down 3,405 carloads, to 20,708; grain, down 2,276 carloads, to 19,540; and chemicals, down 1,758 carloads, to 30,261.
For the first 38 weeks of 2022, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 8,784,882 carloads, up 0.2% from the year-ago period; and 9,998,106 intermodal units, down 5.1% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 38 weeks of 2022 was 18,782,988 carloads and intermodal units, a 2.7% fall-off vs. last year.
North American rail volume for the week ending Sept. 24, 2022, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 333,265 carloads, a 1.3% drop-off from the same point last year, and 342,019 intermodal units, a 4.3% decrease. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 675,284 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.8%. North American rail volume for the first 38 weeks of 2022 was 25,700,318 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.4% compared with 2021.
Canadian railroads reported 79,152 carloads for the week, down 1.2%, and 68,448 intermodal units, down 3.6% from the same week in 2021. For the first 38 weeks of 2022, they reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 5,499,480 carloads, containers and trailers, decreasing 2.4% from the same point last year.
Mexican railroads reported 22,855 carloads for the week, rising 22.4% compared with the same week in 2021, and 15,718 intermodal units, gaining 15.3%. Their cumulative volume for the first 38 weeks of 2022 was 1,417,850 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 2.5% from the year-earlier period.