Posts Tagged ‘AAR freight statistics’

Some Freight Made Gains in April

May 5, 2022

U.S. rail freight traffic in April showed gains but also fell short of what it was in the same month a year ago.

The Association of American Railroads said combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in April were 2,002,854, a decline of 5.8 percent, or 122,798 carloads and intermodal units when compared with April 2021.

Carload traffic was 919,703 carloads, a fall of 3.4 percent or 31,929 carloads while intermodal traffic was 1,083,151 containers and trailers, a decline of 7.7 percent or 90,869 units.

Eight of the 20 carload commodity categories that AAR tracks saw carload gains compared with April 2021.

These included motor vehicles and parts, up 5,649 carloads or 12 percent; chemicals, up 4,463 carloads or 3.4 percent; and food products, up 1,632 carloads or 6.7 percent.

Losing ground were grain, down 15,817 carloads or 15.2 percent; metallic ores, down 9,070 carloads or 32.5 percent; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 7,670 carloads or 17.3 percent.

Excluding coal, carloads fell by 29,329 carloads, or 4.2 percent, in April 2022. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were down by 13,512 carloads, or 2.3 percent.

“U.S. rail traffic in April had something for everyone,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray in a statement.  “Optimists can point to autos, chemicals and scrap, all of which had solid gains. Pessimists can point to grain, intermodal and petroleum products, which saw significant declines.”

Gray said in the middle were industrial products, an aggregation of seven key carload categories, which fell slightly in April.

During April intermodal traffic set records. Grain, food, lumber, paper, scrap metal and several other commodity categories exceeded the April 2019 pre-pandemic levels as well as April 2020’s pandemic levels, Gray said.

Total carload traffic for the first four months of 2022 has been 3,906,843 carloads, rising 1.1 percent, or 44,191 carloads, from the previous-year period; and 4,453,049 intermodal units, falling 7.1 percent, or 340,541 containers and trailers.

Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 17 weeks of 2022 was 8,359,892 carloads and intermodal units, a 3.4 percent decline from 2021.

U.S. Rail Freight Traffic Had Mixed March

April 7, 2022

U.S. rail freight traffic was decidedly mixed during March, the Association of American Railroads reported.

Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations for the month were 2,507,684, a decline of 3 percent or 78,714 carloads and intermodal units when compared with March 2021.

That breaks down to 1,169,546 carloads—up 1.2 percent or 13,456 carloads compared with the same month in 202.

Intermodal traffic for March 2022 was 1,338,138 containers and trailers, a drop of 6.4 percent or 92,170 units compared with last year.

John T. Gray, AAR senior vice president, said chemical carload traffic had its best month ever but grain, petroleum products and papers products posted significant declines.

At the same time Gray said carloads of crushed stone and sand, food products, lumber, and motor vehicles “were higher than they’ve been in months.”

Calling these trend “conflicting,” Gray said they reflect “an economy with a good deal of directional uncertainty; uncertainty that needs resolution before its full potential can be realized.”

The AAR figures showed that in March nine of the 20 carload commodity categories that it tracks posted gains compared with March 2021.

These included chemicals, up 18,291 carloads or 11.7 percent; coal, up 16,637 carloads or 5.4 percent; and crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 7,974 carloads or 8.5 percent.

Losing ground were grain, down 13,839 carloads or 10.8 percent; petroleum and petroleum products, down 9,033 carloads or 16.5 percent; and all other carloads, down 4,459 carloads or 14.6 percent.

Excluding coal, carloads fell by 3,181, or 0.4 percent. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were up by 10,658, or 1.5 percent.

Total U.S. carload traffic for the first three months of 2022 was 2,987,140, a gain of 2.6 percent, or 76,120 carloads compared with the first three months of 2021.

Railroads handled 3,369,898 intermodal units, a decline of 6.9 percent or 249,672 containers and trailers.

Total combined traffic for the first 13 weeks of 2022 was 6,357,038 carloads and intermodal units, a 2.7 percent decline from 2021.

February U.S. Rail Traffic up 5.7 Percent

March 3, 2022

February U.S. railroad freight traffic posted a 5.7 percent gain, the Association of American Railroads said this week.

The combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations for the month were 1,945,646 units, a gain of 104,819 carloads and intermodal units when compared with February 2021.

Carloads for the month were 915,329, a gain of 11 percent or 90,525 carloads over February 2020.

Intermodal traffic was 1,030,317 containers and trailers, which was a 1.4 percent or 14,294 increase.

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

These included: coal, up 47,238 carloads or 21.3 percent; chemicals, up 19,397 carloads or 16.4 percent; and crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 17,918 carloads or 36.3 percent.

Losing ground were motor vehicles and parts, down 6,358 carloads or 11.4 percent; petroleum and petroleum products, down 3,191 carloads or 8 percent; and all other carloads, down 2,162 carloads or 9.3 percent.

“U.S. rail traffic had big year-over-year gains in February largely because severe winter storms held volumes back last February,” AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray said in a statement..

“That said, there were pockets of real strength last month,” Gray said.

“For example, carloads of chemicals set a new monthly record last month, carloads of coal were the highest in five months and carloads of lumber were the most in eight months.”

Excluding coal, carloads were up 43,287 carloads, or 7.2 percent, in February 2022 compared with February 2021.

Excluding coal and grain, carloads were up 39,619 carloads, or 7.7 percent.

Total U.S. carload traffic for the first two months of 2022 were 1,817,594 carloads, an increase of 3.6 percent, or 62,664 carloads when compared with the same time period in 2020.

The 2,031,760 intermodal units was a drop of 7.2 percent, or 157,502 containers and trailers. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first eight weeks of 2022 was 3,849,354 carloads and intermodal units, falling 2.4 percent from the previous-year period.

U.S. January Rail Freight Traffic Was Mixed Bag

February 3, 2022

U.S. rail freight in January was a mixed bag, the Association of American Railroads reported on Wednesday.

Six of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by AAR posted traffic gains when compared with January 2021.

These included coal, up 13,596 carloads or 5.6 percent; crushed stone, sand and gravel, up 4,384 carloads or 7.2 percent; and chemicals, up 1,099 carloads or 0.8 percent.

Declines were seen by grain, down 15,396 carloads or 14 percent; motor vehicles and parts, down 11,559 carloads or 19.8 percent; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 9,509 carloads or 20.1 percent.

The combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in January 2022 were 1,903,708, down 9.5 percent, or 199,657 carloads and intermodal units.

AAR officials said this was based on 902,265 carloads—down 3 percent or 27,861 carloads from the same month in 2021—and 1,001,443 containers and trailers—down 14.6 percent, or 171,796 units.

Excluding coal, carloads fell by 41,457, or 6 percent last month. Excluding coal and grain, carloads dropped by 26,061, or 4.5 percent.

AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray said January freight traffic “made for very difficult comparisons for a number of categories.”

He said January 2021 was the best January for grain since 1990, and was also the highest volume month ever for intermodal.

Gray said January 2022, though, saw the highest volume monthly volumes for rail carloads of chemicals, thus providing a strong base for future growth.

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.