After a mostly steady climb through this year, rail freight volumes on Class I railroads are on a downgrade, and uncertainty in 2019 is looming like a blind curve in the dark.
Association of American Railroads
The trade association of U.S. freight railroads this week urged the federal government to take a balanced approach to automation as a way to a safer, more efficient and more productive industry in the coming years.
GM’s planned plant closings shadowed already-declining shipments of vehicles moving by rail in the U.S. despite a bounceback by commodities in the latest week’s data.
Amid roiling markets, weaker commodities and intermodal shipments may be signaling a correction for U.S. rail freight.
U.S. weekly rail traffic was 547,236 carloads and intermodal units, up a modest 1.4% compared with the same week last year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported for the week ending Nov. 10, 2018.
Surging shipments of crude-by-rail are fast putting other commodities in the rearview, while U.S. trade policy slows grain exports by domestic growers, according to the Association of American Railroads.
Carload commodity freight on U.S. railroads continued to slow but intermodal shipments set a brisker pace through the first 10 months of this year.
If the latest commodity carload data are any indication, there could be uncertainty ahead for the U.S. economic rally.
Commodity and intermodal rail traffic continued to finished in positive territory for the latest week, but at a much slower pace than earlier in the year.
U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Oct. 6, 2018, at 554,238 carloads and intermodal units, rose slightly—1.2 %—compared with the same week in 2017, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported Oct. 10.