AAR: U.S. Rail Traffic Down 4% Yearly

Written by Andrew Corselli, Managing Editor
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For the 40th consecutive week, U.S. rail freight traffic has declined—a 4% year-over-year drop—according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR), while Canadian traffic saw some slight year-over-year improvements and Mexican traffic was slightly down.

For the week ended Oct. 5, 2019, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 515,061 carloads and intermodal units, down 7.1% compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for this week were 247,028 carloads, down 8.5% compared with the same week in 2018, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 268,033 containers and trailers, down 5.8% compared to 2018.

Two of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2018. They were chemicals, up 1,247 carloads, to 32,610; and petroleum and petroleum products, up 57 carloads, to 12,592. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2018 included commodities such as coal, down 12,097 carloads, to 76,970; metallic ores and metals, down 3,271 carloads, to 18,898; and grain, down 2,995 carloads, to 19,698.

For the first 40 weeks of 2019, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 10,111,274 carloads, down 3.9% from the same point last year; and 10,657,959 intermodal units, down 4.1% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 40 weeks of 2019 was 20,769,233 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 4% compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ended October 5, 2019, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 343,401 carloads, down 8.6% compared with the same week last year, and 360,046 intermodal units, down 3.9% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 703,447 carloads and intermodal units, down 6.3%. North American rail volume for the first 40 weeks of 2019 was 28,351,266 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.9% compared with 2018.

Canadian railroads reported 76,176 carloads for the week, down 11.7%, and 72,550 intermodal units, up 3.6% compared with the same week in 2018. For the first 40 weeks of 2019, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 6,073,046 carloads, containers and trailers, up 1.2%.

Mexican railroads reported 20,197 carloads for the week, up 2.9% compared with the same week last year, and 19,463 intermodal units, down 2.8%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 40 weeks of 2019 was 1,508,987 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 2.8% from the same point last year.

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