Intermodal Partially Saves the Day, Again: AAR

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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For the week ending Sept. 26, 2020, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 518,290 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.1% compared with the same week last year. Total carloads for the week, at 224,146 carloads and down 10.5% compared with the same week in 2019, were offset by U.S. weekly intermodal volume, at 294,144 containers and trailers, up 5.5% compared to 2019.

Three of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2019, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported Sept. 30. They were grain, up 7,061 carloads, to 24,995; farm products excluding grain, and food, up 464 carloads, to 15,666; and motor vehicles and parts, up 421 carloads, to 16,340. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2019 included coal, down 21,008 carloads, to 58,220; nonmetallic minerals, down 5,357 carloads, to 29,977; and chemicals, down 2,937 carloads, to 30,078.

For the first 39 weeks of 2020, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 8,335,530 carloads, down 15.5% from the same point last year; and 9,747,872 intermodal units, down 6.2% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 39 weeks of 2020 was 18,083,402 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 10.7% compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ending Sept. 26, 2020, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 324,879 carloads, down 9% compared with the same week last year, and 388,753 intermodal units, up 4% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 713,632 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.3%. North American rail volume for the first 39 weeks of 2020 was 24,907,385 carloads and intermodal units, down 10% compared with 2019.

Canadian railroads reported 81,142 carloads for the week, down 3.4%, and 76,337 intermodal units, up 3.8% compared with the same week in 2019. For the first 39 weeks of 2020, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 5,474,214 carloads, containers and trailers, down 7.7%.

Mexican railroads reported 19,591 carloads for the week, down 12.9% compared with the same week last year, and 18,272 intermodal units, down 14.2%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 39 weeks of 2020 was 1,349,769 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 9.8% from the same point last year.

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