Posts Tagged ‘U.S. freight traffic’

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 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.  

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.

U.S. Freight Traffic Down 3% Last Week

September 10, 2021

U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Sept. 4 was down 3 percent compared to the same week in 2020.

The Association of American Railroads said Class 1 railroads handled 494,415 carloads and intermodal units.

The broke down to 228,203 carloads, up 2.6 percent compared with 2020 and 266,212 containers and trailers, down 7.3 percent.

It was the fifth consecutive week that intermodal traffic lagged behind corresponding levels for the same weeks in 2020.

Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked saw increases compared with 2020.

They included coal, up 5,824 carloads, to 66,950; metallic ores and metals, up 5,151 carloads, to 22,768; and nonmetallic minerals, up 2,680 carloads, to 32,281.

Posting losses were grain, down 6,211 carloads, to 16,711; motor vehicles and parts, down 3,866 carloads, to 12,421; and farm products excluding grain, and food, down 5 carloads, to 15,342.

For the first 35 weeks of 2021, total traffic (carload and intermodal) was up 10.3 percent compared to the same time last year.

Carload Traffic Up, But Intermodal Down

August 19, 2021

U.S. rail freight traffic for the week ending Aug. 14 saw gains in carload volume but declines in intermodal volume.

Class 1 railroads during that week handled 504,810 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 0.9 percent compared with the same week in 2020.

Carload traffic was 235,011, a gain of 5.7 percent while intermodal traffic was 269,799 containers and trailers, a decline of 3 percent.

The Association of American Railroads said five of the 10 carload commodity groups it tracks posted an increase compared with the same point in 2020.

They included coal, up 8,196 carloads, to 67,054; metallic ores and metals, up 5,676 carloads, to 24,678; and nonmetallic minerals, up 2,080 carloads, to 32,602.

Losing ground were grain, down 2,906 carloads, to 19,488; motor vehicles and parts, down 1,883 carloads, to 13,512; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 526 carloads, to 10,314.

For the first 32 weeks of 2021, railroads reported cumulative volume of 7,376,542 carloads, increasing 8.9 percent compared with the same week in 2020; and 8,943,306 intermodal units, an increase of 14 percent.

Total combined traffic for the period was 16,319,848 carloads and intermodal units, an 11.6 percent gain over 2020.

Rail Freight Increases Slowed in July

August 5, 2021

U.S. rail freight traffic was up in July, but the percentage increase was significantly lower than that recorded in other recent months the Association of American Railroads reported on Wednesday.

AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray said this was due to “more difficult comparisons and because various external factors have led to a recent deceleration in rail volumes.”

For example, grain exports were down so grain shipments also fell. Automakers continue to be hindered by semiconductor shortages and are thus producing fewer vehicles.

Gray said slowdowns in the worldwide supply chain has adversely affected rail shippers.

“While all of these should be manageable, temporary setbacks, their convergence has resulted in weaker rail volumes than basic domestic economic factors might otherwise imply,” Gray said.

In July, U.S. Class I railroads originated 904,670 carloads, an increase of 6.6 percent, or 55,969 carloads compared with July 2020.

The carriers originated 1,066,169 containers and trailers, a gain of 1.5 percent or 15,450 units. The combined July originations was 1,970,839, up 3.8 percent, or 71,419 carloads and intermodal units compared with July 2020.

Of the 20 carload commodity categories AAR tracks each month, 10 saw gains in July 2021.

These included: coal, up 31,619 carloads or 14.1 percent; metallic ores, up 14,151 carloads or 137.8 percent; and primary metal products, up 9,802 carloads or 36.4 percent.

Posting declines were motor vehicles and parts, down 12,309 carloads or 21.3 percent; grain, down 6,112 carloads or 7.3 percent; and grain mill products, down 1,862 carloads or 5 percent.

Excluding coal, carloads were up 24,350 carloads, or 3.9 percent, in July 2021 vs. the same month last year.

Excluding coal and grain, carloads were up 30,462 carloads, or 5.6 percent.

Total U.S. carload traffic for the first seven months of 2021 was 6,907,195 carloads, increasing 9.1 percent, or 573,549 carloads, from the same point last year; and 8,398,236 intermodal units, gaining 15.2 percent, or 1,109,282 containers and trailers, from 2020.

Total combined traffic for the first 30 weeks of the year was 15,305,431 carloads and intermodal units, a 12.4 percent increase.

Rail Freight Still Lags Behind 2019 Levels

July 29, 2021

U.S. rail freight for the week ending July 24 continued to show growth, but an industry analyst noted that 2021 traffic continues to lag behind what railroad handled during the same period of 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Association of American Railroads said that last week U.S. rail traffic was 503,219 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 4.6 percent over the same week in 2020.

But a report from Susquehanna Financial Group Analyst Bascome Majors said the 2021 figures of last week are 6 percent lower than the same week in 2019.

He said the four-week trend was up 7 percent vs. 2020 but down 3 percent when compared with 2019.

Carloads last week were 230,095, an increase of 7.1 percent compared with 2020 while intermodal volume was 273,124 containers and trailers, up 2.6 percent.

Yet those same traffic categories when compared with 2019 showed intermodal was flat and the four-week trend for intermodal was up 3 percent vs. 2019.

Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase last week compared with the same week in 2020, AAR said.

They included coal, up 8,411 carloads, to 65,945; metallic ores and metals, up 7,662 carloads, to 23,124; and nonmetallic minerals, up 2,162 carloads, to 33,115.

Posting declines were motor vehicles and parts, down 4,390 carloads, to 10,765; farm products excluding grain, and food, down 1,722 carloads, to 14,679; and petroleum and petroleum products, down 309 carloads, to 10,530.

For the first 29 weeks of 2021, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 6,678,220 carloads, rising 9.2 percent from the prior-year period; and 8,124,671 intermodal units, increasing 15.8 percent.

Total combined U.S. traffic for the period was 14,802,891 carloads and intermodal units, a 12.7 percent gain compared with 2020.

U.S. Rail Traffic Still Lags Behind 2019 Levels

July 22, 2021

U.S. weekly rail traffic for the week ending July 17, 2021, was 513,255 carloads and intermodal units, a 6.6 increase over the same week in 2020, the Association of American Railroads said.

However,  rail volumes for week 28 of 2021 were down 3 percent compared with the same week in 2019.

The Susquehanna Financial Group said the four-week trend was up 9 percent from 2020, but down 2 percent compared with 2019. The report concluded that recovery from the downturn of 2020 isn’t complete yet.

AAR said total U.S. Class I carloads came in at 235,303 for the week ending July 17, up 9.7 percent from the same point in 2020; intermodal volume was 277,952 containers and trailers, up 4.1 percent.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups saw gains compared with the same week last year.

These included coal, up 13,057 carloads, to 69,186; metallic ores and metals, up 7,207 carloads, to 22,975; and chemicals, up 2,785 carloads, to 32,784.

Losing ground were motor vehicles and parts, down 1,750 carloads, to 12,049; grain, down 1,384 carloads, to 20,964; and farm products excluding grain, and food, down 175 carloads, to 15,593.

For the first 28 weeks of this year, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 6,448,125 carloads, an increase of 9.3 percent from the same week in 2020; and 7,851,547 intermodal units, increasing 16.3 percent from last year.

Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 28 weeks of 2021 was 14,299,672 carloads and intermodal units, a 13 percent boost from 2020.

Intermodal Volume Slipped Last Week

July 17, 2021

Intermodal traffic was down slightly last week but overall traffic posted a slight gain when compared to the same week in 2020.

The Association of American Railroads reported that for the week ending July 10 that U.S. weekly rail traffic was 451,825 carloads and intermodal units, a 0.6 percent increase.

Carloads for the week were 210,297 units, up 4.3 percent while intermodal volume was 241,528 containers and trailers, a decline of 2.4 percent.

Four of the 10 carload commodity groups tracked by the AAR saw gains. They included metallic ores and metals, up 8,599 carloads, to 22,486; coal, up 6,575 carloads, to 58,469; and chemicals, up 923 carloads, to 31,220.

Posting declines were motor vehicles and parts, down 2,531 carloads to 10,316; grain, down 2,120 carloads to 17,136; and miscellaneous carloads, down 1,403 carloads to 7,255. For the first 27 weeks of 2021 U.S. railroads have handled 13,786,417 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 13.3 percent compared with the same point in 2020.