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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. railroads log slight carload increase in Week 36


U.S. rail carload volume ticked up slightly — 0.6% to 218,101 units — in the week ending Sept. 9 compared with the same period a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads data.

But intermodal traffic continued its downward pull on total rail volumes for the week: U.S. railroads reported combined intermodal volume of 229,244 containers and trailers, down 3.8% year over year.

Carload and intermodal volumes combined, U.S. railroads logged 447,345 carloads, containers and trailers for the week, a 1.7% decrease.

Six of the 10 carload commodity groups that AAR tracks every week posted increases compared with the same week in 2022. They included motor vehicles and parts, up 11.9%; petroleum and petroleum products, 17%; and coal, 1.3%.

Commodity groups that posted decreases included grain, -14.2%; nonmetallic minerals, -2.2%; and forest products, -6.2%.

Meanwhile, Canadian railroads logged 89,460 carloads for the week, up 0.5%, and 64,914 intermodal units, down 13.2%. Mexican railroads reported 16,002 carloads for the week, down 9.4%; and 11,200 intermodal units, down 4.3%.

For the first 36 weeks of 2023 compared with the same period in 2022:
• U.S. railroads logged 16,620,897 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.8%;
• Canadian railroads reported 5,674,192 carloads, containers and trailers, down 3.4%; and
• Mexican railroads posted 1,009,231 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 4.7%.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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