AAR statistics show intermodal continuing to lift US rail traffic

Grain volume also strong; year-to-date figures continue to lag behind 2019
RELATED TOPICS: FREIGHT | COMMODITIES | INTERMODAL | GRAIN | COAL
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Chart showing weekly rail traffic statistics
Intermodal continues to lift U.S. rail traffic above 2019 in weekly statistics, although most carload categories remain behind 2019 levels in both weekly and year-to-date numbers.
Association of American Railroads
WASHINGTON — Intermodal traffic continues to lift overall rail traffic above year-earlier levels in weekly statistics from the Association of American Railroads, with total volume for the week ending Nov. 7, 2020, up 1.3% over the same week in 2019. Weekly intermodal volume was 293,746 containers and trailers, up 10.3% from the same week a year earlier, while carload traffic was down 8.4% at 228,282 carloads.

Grain traffic remains strong, running 25.5% percent above 2019. Chemicals and farm products/food also are above 2019 levels, while three of the other seven commodity categories show major decreases: coal, down 21.8%; metallic ores and metals, down 21.7%, and petroleum and petroleum products, down 17.5%

Canadian carload traffic was down 6.1% for the week while intermodal traffic was up 14.1% In Mexico, carload traffic was down 5.7% for the week and intermodal traffic was down 24%.

Forty-five week year-to-date totals remain well below 2019 levels, with overall traffic down 9.1%, carloads down 14.4%, and intermodal down 4.1%. Only grain, up 1.3%, is ahead of 2019 levels; five of the other nine commodity categories show declines of 13% or more, led by coal’s 26.2% drop.

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