Rail freight traffic: What’s going on here?

We traditionally have reported the Association of American Railroads weekly compilation of freight traffic statistics as “straight news,” with commentary restricted to what the AAR may include in the release, which is rare. In this case, there’s a lot going on here, enough to warrant some analysis. The figures are all here, along with supporting charts. But don’t take them at face value.

Carloads plummet, but intermodal registers increase

A gain in intermodal partly offset what was otherwise a dismal week for freight rail traffic, according to figures for the week ending March 23, 2019 released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) on March 27.

Rail freight traffic continues decline

North American carload and intermodal traffic again declined compared to 2018, according to figures for the week ending March 16, 2019 released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) on March 20.

AAR: STB rulemakings need cost-benefit analyses

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) on March 14 petitioned the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to incorporate cost-benefit analysis into rulemaking proceedings. AAR urged that, “in the spirit of good government, such analysis should include the most current and reliable data possible, and that the Board should consider the cumulative impact of regulations when proposing and adopting new rules.”

Rail freight traffic on downward trend

North American carload and intermodal traffic continued to decline compared to 2018, according to figures for the week ending March 9, 2019, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported on March 13.

Rail freight traffic drop: Weather, or economic and trade-related uncertainty?

Rail freight traffic for the month of February 2019 and the week ending March 2, 2019 declined, according to Association of American Railroads figures.

R. J. Corman joins AAR

R. J. Corman Railroad Group has joined the Association of American Railroads as a full member.

Is the AAR serious about a weight-distance fee?

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) submitted testimony to the Senate Commerce Committee in mid-February supporting the American Trucking Association’s (ATA) proposal to increase the fuel tax by $0.20 per gallon, noting that “an increase in the fuel tax could be helpful as a short-term bridge to a longer-term future that, we think, should include a vehicle miles traveled fee or a weight-distance fee.”

Carloads up, intermodal down: AAR

U.S. carload traffic rose slightly during the week ended Feb. 23, 2019, but a decline in intermodal more than offset the gain, according to figures released by the Association of American Railroads on Feb. 27.

U.S. carloads, intermodal experience weekly decline

U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Feb. 9, 2019, was relatively flat, with carload declines cancelling out intermodal gains. For the week ending Feb. 16, carloads and intermodal both took hits, according to figures released by Association of American Railroads (AAR). Total carloads were 250,236, down 3.9% compared with the same week in 2018, while intermodal volume was 273,679 containers and trailers, down 2.1% compared to 2018. Combined U.S. weekly rail traffic was 523,915 carloads and intermodal units, down 3% compared with the same week last year.

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