U.S. rail traffic slump continued in Week 49

Published by progressiverailroading.com

The U.S. rail traffic decline continued during the week ending Dec. 7, with railroads logging 517,130 carloads and intermodal units, down 9.4 percent compared with the same week last year, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data.

Railroads posted a total 248,174 carloads during the week, down 7.2 percent, and intermodal volume of 268,956 containers and trailers, down 11.3 percent compared to 2018.

Four of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks on a weekly basis posted increases for the week. They included miscellaneous carloads, up 383 carloads to 11,255; petroleum and petroleum products, up 300 carloads to 13,595; and nonmetallic minerals, up 181 carloads to 32,014.

Commodity groups that logged decreases included coal, down 16,385 carloads to 72,402; metallic ores and metals, down 2,296 carloads to 20,220; and motor vehicles and parts, down 674 carloads to 17,175.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads reported 85,769 carloads, up 4.4 percent, and 67,212 intermodal units, down 8 percent. Mexican railroads reported 19,668 carloads, down 7 percent, and 18,181 intermodal units, down 4.9 percent.

For the first 49 weeks of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018:
• U.S. railroads reported total combined traffic of 25,303,068 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.8 percent;
• Canadian railroads reported 7,401,123 carloads, containers and trailers, down 0.3 percent;
• Mexican railroads reported 1,850,524 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 2.8 percent; and
• North American rail volume (on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads) was 34,554,715 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.7 percent.

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