Amid roiling markets, weaker commodities and intermodal shipments may be signaling a correction for U.S. rail freight.
The Association of American Railroads said traffic for the week ending November 17 was 546,541 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.04% from the same week a year ago. Carloads slipped 1.1% while containers and trailers were ahead by an identical 1.1%.
Three of the 10 carload commodity groups were better, topped by recent leader petroleum, 24%; grain, 7.6%, and miscellaneous carloads, 1.7%.
Sliding were motor vehicles, 11.1%; nonmetallic minerals, 9.5%, and farm products excluding grain, and food, 3.7%.
For the first 46 weeks of this year, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 12,110,985 carloads, up 1.8%, and 12,845,306 intermodal units, up 5.6% from 2017. Total combined traffic was 24,956,291 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 3.7%.
North American rail volume for the week on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 370,321 carloads, up 0.6%, and 370,544 intermodal units, up 0.4%. Total traffic in North America was 740,865 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.5%. Volume for the first 46 weeks was 33,694,979 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.4%.
Canadian railroads reported 86,834 carloads for the week, up 8.7%, and 69,418 intermodal units, an increase of 1.7%. For the first 46 weeks cumulative volume of 6,954,084 carloads, containers and trailers was up 3.8%.
Mexican railroads reported 20,973 carloads for the week, down 8.5%, and 17,099 intermodal units, down 14.2%. Cumulative volume for the first 46 weeks was 1,784,604 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers.