AAR: U.S. Rail Traffic Still Declining

Written by Andrew Corselli, Managing Editor
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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ended September 14, 2019, and it’s the same sad, old song and dance with regards to volume.

For this week—as has been the case in week’s past—total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 526,734 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.8% compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ended September 14 were 252,310 carloads, down 6.1% compared with the same week in 2018, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 274,424 containers and trailers, down 3.5% compared to 2018.

One of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2018. It was motor vehicles and parts, up 299 carloads, to 17,339. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2018 included commodities such as coal, down 4,950 carloads, to 80,753; grain, down 2,915 carloads, to 18,337; and metallic ores and metals, down 2,360 carloads, to 22,766.

For the first 37 weeks of 2019, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 9,363,002 carloads, down 3.5% from the same point last year; and 9,833,164 intermodal units, down 4% from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 37 weeks of 2019 was 19,196,166 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 3.7% compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ended September 14, 2019, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 353,047 carloads, down 5% compared with the same week last year, and 370,297 intermodal units, down 1.7% compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 723,344 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.3%. North American rail volume for the first 37 weeks of 2019 was 26,195,787 carloads and intermodal units, down 2.6% compared with 2018.

Our neighbors to the North fared a tad better, as Canadian railroads reported 80,505 carloads for the week, down 3%, and 74,960 intermodal units, up 0.9% compared with the same week in 2018. For the first 37 weeks of 2019, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 5,610,616 carloads, containers and trailers, up 1.6%.

Ditto our neighbors to the South. Mexican railroads reported 20,232 carloads for the week, up 1.7% compared with the same week last year, and 20,913 intermodal units, up 16.7%. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 37 weeks of 2019 was 1,389,005 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 3.3% from the same point last year.

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