Freight Traffic Rebound Continues to Lag

U.S. freight traffic continued to struggle during the week ending July 18.

Statistics released this week by the Association of American Railroads showed rail traffic for the week was 481,597 carloads and intermodal units, a decline of 8.5 percent compared with the same week last year.

During the week carload traffic was 214,685, down 15.7 percent compared with the same week in 2019, while intermodal volume was 266,912 containers and trailers, down 1.7 percent.

Just one of the 10 carload commodity groups AAR tracks reported an increase and it was modest.

Miscellaneous carloads, rose 212 carloads, to 10,782. Posting declines were coal, down 22,464 carloads, to 56,202; metallic ores and metals, down 6,659 carloads, to 15,766; and nonmetallic minerals, down 6,108 carloads, to 30,986.

For the first 29 weeks of 2020, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 6,117,168 carloads, a decline of 16.1 percent compared to 2019.

Intermodal at 6,951,086 intermodal units is down 9.6 percent while the total combined U.S. traffic for the first 29 weeks of 2020 was 13,068,254 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 12.8 percent compared to last year.

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