Carloads and intermodal up last week—Labor Day 2019 a factor in increases

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
image description
AAR reports traffic statistics for week ending Sept.5, 2020
David C. Lester

Ed. Note: The Association of American Railroads traffic numbers for the week ending September 5, 2020, look pretty good at first glance. However, the Labor Day holiday in 2019 was on Sept. 2, while in 2020, Labor Day was on Monday, Sept. 7. This means, of course, for the week ending Sept. 5, 2020, there were five business days, and during the same week last year, there were only four. Although it’s difficult to know without further analysis, intermodal was up 24.8 percent the week ending Sept. 5, 2020, and the size of this increase is likely attributable to improving intermodal business strength along with one extra day of business in 2020. Intermodal traffic was up 3 percent in August 2020 compared to August 2019. DCL

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending September 5, 2020.

For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 509,637 carloads and intermodal units, up 8.6 percent compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ending September 5 were 222,298 carloads, down 6.9 percent compared with the same week in 2019, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 287,339 containers and trailers, up 24.8 percent compared to 2019.

Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2019. They included grain, up 5,630 carloads, to 23,003; motor vehicles and parts, up 1,729 carloads, to 16,296; and miscellaneous carloads, up 1,306 carloads, to 10,038. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2019 included coal, down 18,495 carloads, to 60,842; nonmetallic minerals, down 3,159 carloads, to 29,585; and metallic ores and metals, down 2,396 carloads, to 17,634.

For the first 36 weeks of 2020, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 7,670,555 carloads, down 15.8 percent from the same point last year; and 8,897,816 intermodal units, down 6.9 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 36 weeks of 2020 was 16,568,371 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 11.3 percent compared to last year.

North American rail volume for the week ending September 5, 2020, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 319,928 carloads, down 4.8 percent compared with the same week last year, and 377,841 intermodal units, up 20.8 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 697,769 carloads and intermodal units, up 7.6 percent. North American rail volume for the first 36 weeks of 2020 was 22,822,410 carloads and intermodal units, down 10.5 percent compared with 2019.

Canadian railroads reported 78,580 carloads for the week, up 0.7 percent, and 73,558 intermodal units, up 11.3 percent compared with the same week in 2019. For the first 36 weeks of 2020, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 5,011,733 carloads, containers and trailers, down 8.2 percent.

Mexican railroads reported 19,050 carloads for the week, down 0.9 percent compared with the same week last year, and 16,944 intermodal units, up 4 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 36 weeks of 2020 was 1,242,306 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, down 9.5 percent from the same point last year.

Categories: Class 1, Freight, Intermodal, Railroad News
Tags: , , , ,

Media