Posts Tagged ‘AAR freight statistics’

Rail Freight Traffic Up 5.7% in 2021

January 6, 2022

Intermodal traffic faced many challenges during 2021 but still finished the year posting the second-best volume since the Association of American Railroad began tracking freight traffic.

AAR said intermodal volume last year trailed only 2018.

However, it was a tale of two halves with intermodal traffic setting records in the first half of 2021 only to lose ground in the second half due to global supply chain issues that saw shipping containers languishing in railroad yards, on siding, and aboard ships docked off shore of ports.

In December, intermodal traffic was 8.2 percent below the same month in 2020 with Class 1 railroads handling 1,224,780 containers and trailers, a decline of 109,729 units

AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray noted that chemical traffic set a record in 2021 and grain traffic had its best year since 2008.

Coal traffic, which in recent years has been in a steady decline, was up significantly last year as sharp increases in natural gas prices temporarily at least sent power generating facilities seeking another source of fuel.

A shortage of microchips, a victim of the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain congestion, worked to depress auto traffic in 2021.

For the year carload traffic in 2021 was 12,010,274 carloads, a gain of 6.6 percent, or 744,646 carloads when compared to 2020.

Intermodal traffic for 2021 was 14,142,442 units, an increase of 4.9 percent, or 665,528 containers and trailers over 2020.

Total combined U.S. traffic for 2021 was 26,152,716 carloads and intermodal units, a 5.7 percent increase over 2020.

During December, Class I railroad handled 1,224,780 containers and trailers, a drop of down 109,729 units or 8.2 percent when compared with the same month in 2020.

Carload traffic for the month was 1,135,835 carloads, an increase of 33,918 carloads or 3.1 percent.

The combined, carload and intermodal originations were 2,360,615, a decline of 75,811 carloads and intermodal units. The 3.1 percent decline over December 2020 was driven by intermodal traffic.

AAR said that during December 2021, 14 of its 20 carload commodity categories posted gains when compared with December 2020.

Gaining were coal, up 21,871 carloads (7.4 percent); crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 17,926 carloads (25.3 percent); and chemicals, up 9,675 carloads (6 percent).

Losing ground were grain, down 12,701 carloads (9.9 percent); motor vehicles and parts, down 8,637 carloads (12.6 percent); and petroleum and petroleum products, down 5,560 carloads (10 percent).

U.S. Rail Freight Down 4.5% in November

December 3, 2021

U.S. rail freight for November was down 4.5 percent the Association of American Railroads said this week.

Railroads during the month handled 917,787 carloads, rising 2 percent or 17,996 carloads when compared with November 2020.

They also handled 1,028,039 containers and trailers, a decline of 9.6 percent or 108,705 units compared to last year.

Total carload and intermodal originations for the month were 1,945,826, a decline of 90,709 carloads and intermodal units over the same month last year.

John T. Gray, AAR’s senior vice president, said coal enjoyed robust growth due largely to the price of natural gas used to generate electricity having doubled this year.

Gray noted that coal carloads through November have been up 11 percent.

“Chemicals, grain and commodities related to steel making have also all showed solid carload growth this year,” he said in a statement.

AAR said 15 of the 20 freight categories that it tracks have posted gains through the end of November.

Between January and November, U.S. Class I railroads have handled 10,874,439 carloads, up 7 percent or 710,728 carloads compared with the same period in 2020.

Intermodal traffic on a year-to-date basis has been 12,917,662 intermodal units, up 6.4 percent or 775,257 containers and trailers.

The combined traffic has been 23,792,101 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 6.7 percent.

During November AAR said gains were posted by coal, up 20,731 carloads or 8.6 percent; chemicals, up 5,563 carloads or 4.4 percent; and crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 5,067 carloads or 7.4 percent.

Losing ground were motor vehicles and parts, down 8,186 carloads or 14.1 percent; grain, down 7,901 carloads or 7.4 percent; and all other carloads, down 3,355 carloads or 14.6 percent.

All comparisons are with November 2020 figures.

Rail Freight Down 4.09% Last Week

November 26, 2021

U.S. rail freight for the week ending Nov. 20 was down 4.09 percent with intermodal volume being the primary culprit for the falloff.

Class 1 railroads handled 508,309 carloads and intermodal units for the week. The percentage decline is in comparison with volume handled in the same week of 2020.

Carload traffic was 237,244 carloads an increase of 1.6 percent but intermodal traffic was down 10 percent to 271,065 intermodal containers and trailers.

The Association of American Railroads said six of the 10 carload commodity groups that it tracks saw gains last week.

This included metallic ores and metals, up 1,838 carloads, to 21,524; coal, up 1,780 carloads, to 64,719; and chemicals, up 1,437 carloads, to 34,174.

Losing ground were miscellaneous carloads, down 1,009 carloads, to 9,064; motor vehicles and parts, down 887 carloads, to 14,690; and grain, down 710 carloads, to 24,494.

To date railroads have handled a cumulative volume of 10,665,348 carloads, an increase of 7.1 percent compared with the same period in 2020. They have handled 12,695,960 intermodal units, a gain of 6.7 percent.

Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 46 weeks of 2021 was 23,361,308 carloads and intermodal units, a 6.9 percent gain over last year.

Freight Volume Down 4.7% Last Week

November 18, 2021

U.S. freight traffic for the week ending Nov. 13 was down 4.7 percent compared to the same week in 2020. Lagging intermodal volume continued to drag down overall traffic.

The Association of American Railroads said railroads moved 502,613 carloads and intermodal units.

Carload volume of 235,867 was up 1.7 percent, while intermodal traffic of 266,746 containers and trailers was down 9.7 percent.

Six of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked by the AAR saw gains including coal, up 6,917 carloads, to 67,225; nonmetallic minerals, up 1,913 carloads, to 30,983; and chemicals, up 1,555 carloads, to 33,513.

Declines were seen by grain, down 3,772 carloads, to 25,336; motor vehicles and parts, down 2,800 carloads, to 12,690; and miscellaneous carloads, down 729 carloads, to 9,414.

For the first 45 weeks of this year, the cumulative freight volume has been 10,428,104 carloads, up 7.2 percent from the same point last year; and 12,424,895 intermodal units, up 7.2 percent. Total combined traffic has been 22,852,999 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 7.2 percent compared with this point in 2020.

Rail Freight Down 3.5% Last Week

November 11, 2021

U.S. rail freight for the week ending Nov. 6 was down 3.5 percent compared to the same week in 2020.

The same pattern of increased carload traffic being offset by declines in intermodal traffic continued.

Class 1 railroads handled 504,111 carloads and intermodal units. That broke down to 235,585 carloads, a gain of 3.1 percent, and 268,526 containers and trailers, a loss of 8.6 percent.

Gains were registered by coal, up 7,624 carloads, to 66,745; metallic ores and metals, up 3,486 carloads, to 21,039; and chemicals, up 1,178 carloads, to 33,780.

Commodity groups that lost ground included motor vehicles and parts, down 3,204 carloads, to 11,946; grain, down 2,039 carloads, to 25,386; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 413 carloads, to 10,010.

Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 44 weeks of this year has been 22,350,386 carloads and intermodal units, a gain of 7.5 percent.

Rail Freight Volume Down 2.3% Last Week

October 28, 2021

U.S. rail freight volume declined 2.3 percent for the week ending Oct. 20.

The Association of American Railroads said Class 1 carriers handled 239,195 carloads for a gain of 5.1 percent compared with the same week in 2020.

However as in past weeks, intermodal traffic drug down overall traffic volume. AAR said railroads handled 271,567 containers and trailers, down 8  percent. Combined, carloads and intermodal units was 510,762.

Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked by AAR saw gains.They included coal, up 8,175 carloads, to 65,712; metallic ores and metals, up 2,537 carloads, to 23,192; and miscellaneous carloads, up 1,537 carloads, to 11,036.

Losing ground were motor vehicles and parts, down 2,057 carloads, to 13,403; petroleum and petroleum products, down 623 carloads, to 9,544; and grain, down 138 carloads, to 25,857.

The year to date freight volume has been 9,718,385, an increase of 7.5. Intermodal traffic has been 11,617,749 units, an increase of 8.5.

Combined traffic has been 21,336,134 carloads and intermodal units, an 8  percent increase. All comparisons are with the 2020.  

AAR Weekly Rail Traffic Report is Same Old, Same Old

October 21, 2021

The Association of American Railroads said freight traffic for the week ending Oct. 16 fell 4.2 percent compared with the same week in 2020.

As has been the case for the past 11 weeks, carload traffic was up while intermodal volume was down.

AAR said total carloads were 229,730, a gain of 1.2 percent while intermodal was 267,253 containers and trailers, a loss of 8.5 percent.

Five of the 10 carload commodities tracked by AAR saw gains last week.

They included metallic ores and metals, up 3,471 carloads, to 21,990; chemicals, up 3,000 carloads, to 32,721; and nonmetallic minerals, up 1,157 carloads, to 32,210.

Losing ground were coal, down 2,493 carloads, to 57,772; motor vehicles and parts, down 2,260 carloads, to 13,374; and miscellaneous carloads, down 798 carloads, to 9,601.

Cumulative volume for the year to date was 9,479,190 carloads, an increase of 7.6 percent. Intermodal traffic to date has been 11,346,182 units, a gain of 8.9 percent.

Total combined traffic has been 20,825,372 carloads and intermodal units, an 8.3 percent gain compared with the same week in 2020.

Rail Freight Down 2.6% Last Week

October 14, 2021

The Association of American Railroads said this week that for the week ending Oct. 9 weekly U.S. rail freight traffic was down 2.6 percent compared with the same week in 2020.

U.S. Class 1 railroads handled 506,642 carloads and intermodal units during the week.

The 239,821 carloads handled was a 4 percent increase over the same week last year but the 266,821 containers and trailers handled was a 7.8 percent decline.

AAR said six of the 10 carload commodity groups it tracks saw increases.

They included coal, up 5,736 carloads, to 67,680; metallic ores and metals, up 4,896 carloads, to 22,369; and nonmetallic minerals, up 2,606 carloads, to 33,087.

Losing ground were grain, down 3,483 carloads, to 24,037; motor vehicles and parts, down 3,047 carloads, to 13,058; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 837 carloads, to 9,395.

Railroad freight volume for the first 40 weeks of 2021 has been 9,249,460 carloads, an increase of 7.8 percent compared with the same period of 2020. Railroads have handled 11,078,929 intermodal units a gain of 9.4 percent.

The combined rail freight traffic for the period was 20,328,389 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 8.7 percent from last year.

Intermodal Traffic Fell 6.7% in September

October 7, 2021

Figures released by the Association of American Railroads on Wednesday confirmed what has been apparent for several weeks.

Intermodal traffic on U.S. Class 1 railroads is struggling, falling by 6.7 percent in September compared with the same month in 2020.

“Rail intermodal volume is clearly not what it has been and could be,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray.

“Keeping intermodal terminals functioning smoothly and at full capacity depends on consistent freight outflows to make room for new freight inflows,” Gray said.

“Unfortunately, due to limited availability of downstream truck and warehouse capacity, that’s not happening right now with predictable impacts on rail intermodal volume. There is no single solution to this problem, but railroads are bringing intermodal yard capacity back online to increase storage availability as well as working with customers and truckers to accelerate container pickup, among other efforts.

Otherwise, rail freight traffic at Class 1 railroads is trending upward with the carriers reporting having handled 1,167,682 carloads in September 2021, an increase of 4.3 percent (or 47,858 carloads) compared with September 2020.

Railroads hauled 1,328,527 containers and trailers, a decline of 95,317 units compared with last year.

Total carload and intermodal originations for September was 2,496,209, down 1.9 percent (or 47,459 carloads and intermodal units) compared with the same month last year.

AAR said 15 of the 20 carload commodity categories it tracks posted gains compared with September 2020.

These included: coal, up 40,954 carloads or 13.7 percent; crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 11,107 carloads or 12.5 percent; and primary metal products, up 8,675 carloads or 22.4 percent.

Losing ground last month were motor vehicles and parts, down 22,486 carloads or 27.6 percent; grain, down 17,312 carloads or 14.7 percent; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 1,616 carloads or 3.1 percent.

Excluding coal, carloads increased by 6,904, or 0.8 percent, in September 2021 compared with. September 2020.  Excluding coal and grain, carloads were up 24,216, or 3.5 percent.

Total U.S. carload traffic for the first nine months of 2021 was 9,009,639, an increase of 7.9 percent, or 658,222 carloads;, and 10,812,108 intermodal units, a 9.9 percent rise, or 976,362 containers and trailers.

Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 39 weeks of the year was 19,821,747 carloads and intermodal units, up 9 percent from the same period in 2020.

Intermodal Holds Back U.S. Freight Traffic

September 30, 2021

Intermodal continued to hold back overall U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Sept. 25.

The Association of American Railroads said traffic last week was 511,713 carloads and intermodal units, a 1.3 percent decline compared with the same period in 2020.

U.S. Class I railroads hauled 239,069 carloads, increasing 6.6 percent while also hauling 272,644 containers and trailers, a decline of 7.3 percent from last year.

Six of the 10 carload commodity groups posted gains. They included coal, up 11,681 carloads, to 70,002; metallic ores and metals, up 4,418 carloads, to 24,120; and nonmetallic minerals, up 4,103 carloads, to 34,083.

Losing ground were motor vehicles and parts, down 4,774 carloads, to 11,563; grain, down 3,128 carloads, to 21,864; and farm products excluding grain, and food, down 169 carloads, to 15,503.

For the first 38 weeks of 2021, U.S. railroads handled 8,767,729 carloads, an 8 percent increase, and 10,538,169 intermodal units, a 10.4 percent gain over 2020.

Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 38 weeks was 19,305,898 carloads and intermodal units, rising 9.3 percent from last year.